Mlangeni was no background boy, says Malema while calling out institutionalised corruption

Picture for illustration. EFF leader Julius Malema speaks outside parliament on why the party walked out of the National Assembly during President Cyril Ramaphosa's Sona, Cape Town, 13 February 2020. Picture: Screengrab of Twitter video / @Newzroom405

During his political career, Mlangeni had to sometimes change his name to Percy or Mokete Mokoena.

Describing deceased Rivonia Trialist Andrew Mlangeni outside his home, EFF leader Julius Malema said the stalwart was no background boy, and people like Sello Rasethaba protected the legacy of Mlangeni.

“We want to thank people like Sello Rasethaba who maintained that Mlangeni was a leader in his own right. I hope the family and government do not forget the role that Sello played.”

In seconding the family’s call for Mlangeni’s legacy to be respected, Malema said the family had noted that often funerals of stalwarts were now seen as opportunities of self-enrichment.

“The family and everybody else has come to appreciate that this government has institutionalised corruption. No one should steal in the name of Mlangeni.”

The last of the Rivonia Trialists will be laid to rest on Wednesday at the Roodepoort Cemetery in the west of Johannesburg.

During his political career Mlangeni had to sometimes change his name to Percy or Mokete Mokoena.  While on Robben Island he was given another identity as Prisoner 467/64. He was also known as the prestigious ‘backroom boy’, as he often called himself.

It was only when Mlangeni returned home that he was known as his birth identity, Mlangeni again.

The Mlangeni family has distanced itself from the announcement by the ANC that former president Jacob Zuma will be speaking at a virtual reflection on the life and times of the Rivonia Trialist.

Meanwhile, the ANC has bid farewell to Mlangeni, who was jailed alongside Nelson Mandela in 1964 after a treason trial. He spent 26 years in jail and was the last of the eight defendants known as the Rivonia Trialists. Before his passing, he was admitted to hospital following an abdominal complaint.

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