andrew mlangeni

Andrew Mlangeni: The last of the Rivonia Trialists dies aged 95

Posted by Andile Sicetsha

Struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni passed away at the 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane, on Tuesday morning.

Andrew Mlangeni passed away: Here’s what we know

As reported by eNCA, Andrew Mlangeni was rushed to the hospital after he complained about abdominal discomfort. As we have come to learn, that was the beginning of the stalwart’s journey to the other side.

Mlangeni, born 6 June 1925, was one of the few remaining originators of our struggle against oppression.

Prisoner 467/64: The legacy of Mlangeni

His legacy has been etched into South African history as the last of the Rivonia Trialists, a period in our path to democracy that will always be revisited for the chilling declaration former president Nelson Mandela made in his testimony.

Mlangeni, along with Lionel Bernstein; Denis Goldberg; Arthur Goldreich; Bob Hepple; James Kantor; Ahmed Kathrada; Nelson Mandela; Govan Mbeki; Raymond Mhlaba; Elias Motsoaledi; Walter Sisulu; and Harold Wolpe, was arrested for using ‘terrorist’ methods to overthrow the Apartheid government.

Of course, this was the National Party’s way of using the powers of an authoritarian judiciary to suppress the freedom movement.

From that trial, Mlangeni spent 27 years in prison, walking the same path his close friend Mandela embarked. He became an ANC member of parliament, in servitude of Mandela’s presidency and that of Govan’s son, Thabo Mbeki, between 2009 and 2014.

In retirement, Mlangeni’s legacy was truly celebrated. In 2015, the tear-jerking film Prisoner 467/64: The Untold Legacy of Andrew Mlangeni was released, directed by Lebogang Rasethaba.

He also appeared in the 2017 rehash of the Rivonia Trial documentary, told from the perspective of Denis Goldberg, titled Life Is Wonderful.

Apart from the Honorary Doctorate he received from the Durban University of Technology in April 2018, Mlangeni was also awarded with the Freedom of the City of London.

The 95-year-old was truly the last of democratic South Africa’s Founding Fathers. Rest in peace, Mlangeni.