Outrage over Solly Mapaila’s comments on Robert Sobukwe

14 February 2019 - 08:44 By Odwa Mjo
Solly Mapaila has come under fire for his comments on Robert Sobukwe's incarceration on Robben Island.
Solly Mapaila has come under fire for his comments on Robert Sobukwe's incarceration on Robben Island.
Image: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Mohau Mofokeng

The South African Communist Party’s second deputy general-secretary, Solly Mapaila, caused a stir on social media after he claimed that Pan Africanist Congress founder Robert Sobukwe received preferential treatment from the apartheid government.

News24 said Mapaila made the remarks during his address at a dialogue celebrating the Rivonia trialists at Liliesleaf farm in Rivonia, Johannesburg, on Tuesday. 

In an interview with eNCA on Wednesday, Mapaila said: “I was not blaming Robert Sobukwe, I was blaming the apartheid government and his collusion and his participation in that regard. For instance, they put him in a house on Robben Island, they treated him as the main political prisoner when others were treated as terrorists and slaves.”

Mapaila said other political prisoners on Robben Island were forced to do hard labour, while Sobukwe had “privileges”, like receiving clothing and books.

The SACP general-secretary received backlash over his comments as he trended on Twitter:


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