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Lukhanyo Calata continues to fight for justice for the Cradock Four

26 July 2021 3:24 PM
Tags:
Lukhanyo Calata
Cradock Four
Apartheid security police
My Father Died For This

Pippa Hudson speaks to Lukhanyo Calata, son of Fort Calata who was tortured and murdered by Apartheid security forces in 1985.
  • Fort Calata, Matthew Goniwe, Sicelo Mhlauli and Sparow Mkonto were abducted and murdered by apartheid security forces in 1985
  • They became known as the 'Cradock Four'
  • Fort Calata's son, Lukhanyo has worked tirelessly get those responsible for his father's death prosecuted and convicted

SABC journalist Lukhanyo Calata was among the members of the media protesting outside the public broadcaster's offices in Sea Point on 1 July 2016. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

Fort Calata was one of the Cradock Four who were tortured and murdered by apartheid security police in 1985 and to this day nobody has ever appeared in court to face charges connected to the case.

His son, Lukhanyo Calata has fought tirelessly to change that for many years now.

On 20 July 2021, Calata filed an application in the Pretoria High Court on behalf of the families of the 'Cradock Four', seeking to compel the NPA and the national Police Service to finalise the investigation and make a prosecutorial decision.

20 July is a significant date, marking the 36th anniversary of Matthew Goniwe, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkhonto and Sicelo Mhlauli's funerals which were attended by thousands.

20 July is the day that the Cradock Four were buried in 1985. It's like my first and only memory of my dad. The day holds particular significance to me because it connects me to my father.

Lukhanyo Calata - Fort Calata's son

I wanted to do it on that day in honour of the 'Cradock Four', but also specifically so that the day of the 20th of July could have a different meaning as well, instead of it having that negative connotations. Now it takes on a different meaning. It no longer reminds me of being a three year old little boy. The 20th of July now means it's the day i went to court alongside the other families to go and compel the NPA and SAPS to finally do right to my family and the families of the Cradock Four.

Lukhanyo Calata - Fort Calata's son

He also shared his story in the book he wrote with his wife Abigail called ”My Father Died for this” which also detailed his fight for media freedom as one of the so-called SABC 8.

Calata says it's time that justice is served for the families of those murdered by the apartheid regime.

When you do wrong, no matter who you are, for us being in a constitutional democracy means we are all equal before the law. Unfortunately, the ANC government had not set about this new constitutional democracy in the correct manner. Therefore, we are sitting today in a South Africa where white people can still refer to us by the k-word, because our government has never instilled that sense of value to black lives by prosecuting the people that had committed crimes against our humanity.

Lukhanyo Calata - Fort Calata's son

We need to build a different kind of society, and we need to start at the beginning, and that is ensuring that those people who committed crimes against us are held accountable. And those people who died for the constitutional democracy today, we serve them with justice

Lukhanyo Calata - Fort Calata's son

The actual people who committed the crimes, they've sadly passed away, but they did not act out on their own accord. We know that's there's direct evidence that links members of the state security council, in the planning, in the conspiracy as well as to the actual instructions and the orders to kill the Cradock Four.

Lukhanyo Calata - Fort Calata's son

Scroll to the top of the article to listen to the interview.




26 July 2021 3:24 PM
Tags:
Lukhanyo Calata
Cradock Four
Apartheid security police
My Father Died For This

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