Two must-watch doccies on the untold legacy of Andrew Mlangeni
Andile Sicetsha

A giant has fallen. 95-year-old Andrew Mlangeni spent the final moments of his life at 1 Military Hospital, in Thaba Tshwane, on Wednesday morning.

South Africa pays tribute to Andrew Mlangeni

A man of great stature and the humility to match it, Andrew Mlangeni was the last of the Rivonia Trialists to pass away. Scores of political pundits, his scholars and current leaders paid tribute to the struggle stalwart.

The Presidency noted in a brief statement how saddened Cyril Ramaphosa was to learn of Mlangeni’s death.

The EFF, normally opposed to anything that embodies the governing ANC party, paid its respects to the party veteran in a video that showed Mlangeni pouring soil on the gravesite of Koko Sarah Malema, the grandmother of Julius.

Perhaps, the most fitting tribute came from the Red Beret’s national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who described the struggle stalwart’s death as the end to the Rivonia Trials.”

Two must-watch doccies of the untold legacy of Mlangeni

Mlangeni’s work in freeing black people from oppression was celebrated but not known to many. Those with advanced knowledge on the key roleplayers behind the end of Apartheid will appreciate his involvement.

Following his retirement from politics in 2014, after serving under former president Thabo Mbeki, the son of Rivonia Trialist and co-defendant Govan, Mlangeni’s story was told from the perspective of two must-watch documentaries.

The first, Prisoner 467/64: The Untold Legacy of Andrew Mlangeni directed by Lebogang Rasethaba, was released in 2015. The film explores the life and servitude of Mlangeni as a political activist and how he became entangled in the infamous Rivonia Trials that were widely condemned by the international community.

The second, Life is Wonderful, was less about him and more about his Rivonia Trialist and co-defendant Denis Goldberg. However, his feature makes for a great glimpse into his aspirations for modern South Africa, a country plagued by the realisation of Nelson Mandela’s dream, except in this version, the ANC is also the oppressor.

Details of Mlangeni’s funeral are yet to be confirmed.