Robert Sobukwe remembered 42 years after his death — 'he fought with fearlessness'
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:
Today, marks 42 yrs since the death of a teacher, lecturer, writer, preacher, lawyer but above all a,leader and champion of our struggle against apartheid and oppression, Prof. #RobertSobukwe of Umbutho wama Afrika Poqo.We’ll forever remember you ‘The defier of undefiable’ pic.twitter.com/4jLsN0lxXd— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) February 27, 2020
We remember struggle stalwart Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe who passed away on this day in 1978. Today we live in a democratic South Africa due to the gallant sacrifices of this fearless freedom fighter and others of his generation. pic.twitter.com/4eKOJzsfv1— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 27, 2020
Today Marks 42 years since the passing of the founder of The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, Prof Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe— Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (@phethani4) February 27, 2020
A Man with devine mission
A defier of undefiable
A true revolutionarist
A man with noble purpose
A great storm
A man who refused all forms of Sell outsim pic.twitter.com/oQAtR3oG3V
Today we mark the 42nd anniversary of the death of #RobertSobukwe. Madiba, in #LongWalkToFreedom, wrote: "Robert Sobukwe was an old friend. He was the proverbial gentleman & scholar. His consistent willingness to pay the penalty for his principles earned my enduring respect.” pic.twitter.com/U5VxgkqJPc— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) February 27, 2020
Unsung hero, Robert Sobukwe. I never for a second forget the sacrifices made for me to live in a free country. Today marks 42 years since the passing of a dynamic man: teacher, linguist, economist, attorney, preacher, first political prisoner on Robben Island, PAC President pic.twitter.com/DiSVB264uV— Mandla Sibeko (@msibeko) February 27, 2020
Today marks 42 years since the passing of teacher, linguist, economist, attorney, preacher, first political prisoner on Robben Island, founding member and first President of the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania, Prof. Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. We salute you Prof.🤚 pic.twitter.com/hVijRhrT3Y— SteveBikoFoundation (@BikoFoundation) February 27, 2020