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Robben Island decay: 'You are tampering with the legacy of Nelson Mandela

21 April 2021 9:11 AM
Tags:
Robben Island
EPPA

Ex-Political Prisoner Association of South Africa's Mpho Masemola says claims of mismanagement on the island must be probed.

The Ex-Political Prisoner Association of South Africa (EPPA) wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene at Robben Island Museum.

This is due to allegations of mismanagement and fraud at the Robben Island Museum for 11 years, which it says have not been addressed.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape has also called on the Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa to make public the RIM report and take action.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to EPPA deputy secretary, Mpho Masemola, on the organisations' plea to President Ramaphosa to intervene.

The management is based on neglect and the decaying structures of Robben Island.

Mpho Masemola, Deputy Secretary - EPPA

Remember, those decaying structures are our heritage, and once you tamper with the heritage, it means you are tampering with the legacy of Nelson Mandela, the legacy of Sisulu, and all political prisoners.

Mpho Masemola, Deputy Secretary - EPPA

The people that have been placed to look after those assets have let us down.

Mpho Masemola, Deputy Secretary - EPPA

The structures were meant to be properly maintained, he says.

The quarry is in disarray. One boat is laying there at Jetty 1 rusting and decaying with grass growing out of it. As political prisoners, we view this very seriously.

Mpho Masemola, Deputy Secretary - EPPA

You cannot destroy such history. You are deleting our heritage.

Mpho Masemola, Deputy Secretary - EPPA

He says visitors to the island and former political prisoners have raised complaints.

In the past 10 years, we tried, by all means, to raise these issues with the Arts Department...and all these ministers do not care about Robben Island.

Mpho Masemola, Deputy Secretary - EPPA

He says EPPA has written to Minister Mthethwa and has not even received a written response.

EPPA has sent communications to the parliamentary portfolio committee on arts and culture but to no avail, he adds.

That is why we are calling for the head of the portfolio committee to be fired.

Mpho Masemola, Deputy Secretary - EPPA

He says neither the minister of the portfolio committee has done any oversight visits to the island.

President Ramaphosa is the last line of defence....He seems to be forgetting Robben island which is a symbol of liberation.

Mpho Masemola, Deputy Secretary - EPPA

We are calling on him [Ramaphosa] to come to Robben Island, to revive the spirit of Nelson Mandela, for him to do the oversight.

Mpho Masemola, Deputy Secretary - EPPA

Listen to the interview in the audio below:




21 April 2021 9:11 AM
Tags:
Robben Island
EPPA

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