Robert Sobukwe remembered 42 years after his death — 'he fought with fearlessness'

28 February 2020 - 09:59 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Robert Sobukwe, editor, lecturer and inspiring speaker.
Robert Sobukwe, editor, lecturer and inspiring speaker.
Image: Archives

Tributes for struggle veteran, teacher and speaker, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, poured in on Thursday as South Africans remembered his contribution in fighting against the oppression of black people under the apartheid regime.

Thursday marked 42 years since his death on February 27 1978.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, the EFF, and Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi were among many South Africans who commemorated his life on social media.

Sobukwe joined the ANC Youth League in 1948 when he was a student at the University of Fort Hare. In 1958, he broke away from the party as it was becoming more multiracial in its membership.

He announced his split from the ANC the following year, during the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) gathering in Orlando. This after he was elected its first president, according to SA History.

Ramaphosa said Sobukwe and other fighters from his generation confronted apartheid and colonialism with a spirit of fearlessness.

In its statement, the EFF attributed its fight for land expropriation to his vision.

“Sobukwe taught us that Africa is not only a geographical location but a spirit that lives inside us, including those in the diaspora.

“He affirmed us that the fight for land is a noble one, because it is not a fight that is only rooted in history, but it is one that affects the present and has the potential to determine what the future looks like.”

Here's some of the tributes: