Outrage over Solly Mapaila’s comments on Robert Sobukwe
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:
People should not be surprised by what Solly Mapaila said about Robert Sobukwe. Things like this we should expect from fake leaders who call themselves communists. Robert Sobukwe was and will always be a true revolutionary who stood firm in his beliefs— Afrika (@Thami42876171) February 14, 2019
What I heard about Robert Sobukwe is that, at some point he seemed to have abandoned the struggle and wanted to go teach in America after he was offered a teaching position there. First time I am hearing what Solly Mapaila is saying. pic.twitter.com/h8KU6LfFGT— Luzuko 💒🌟⛪🇿🇦 (@LuzukoMngqibisa) February 13, 2019
Solly Mapaila must just retract his statement about Robert Sobukwe.— reggie leballo (@ChippaReggie) February 13, 2019
Solly is preoccupy with Robert Sobukwe instead of redirecring his energy to the so called alliance where they are treated with perpetual political adolences. One's had respect for u but it's all gone— Eddy simelane (@EddySimelane) February 13, 2019