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Andrew Mlangeni: From the apartheid struggle to the corruption struggle

17 March 2020 2:34 PM

Lessons from a Rivonia trialist: Andrew Mlangeni talks about the transition into democracy and the challenges we face today.

To commemorate 30 years since Andrew Mlangeni's release as a political prisoner, Life Podcasts presents History for the Future: Lessons from a Rivonia Trialist. In the final episode of this captivating six-part podcast series, Andrew Mlangeni recounts his memories of his time in prison until his release in October 1989.

Released into a time of hope and violence, joy and fear — Rivonia Trialist, Andrew Mlangeni and his comrades knew that freedom was at hand — a blood-stained conclusion to an era of white minority rule in our beloved, South Africa.

Returning home, Andrew's attachment to his family remained strong, hardly dented by his 26 years in prison. Shortly after, he and fellow trialists embarked on a tour throughout Africa and Europe. It was then when he was reunited with Sello.

"He (Andrew) stood up to open it and, was greeted by a black man with a white woman and a young girl. He thought at first that this could be a journalist seeking an interview but, the man's first few words included some Sesuthu. Who are you, he asked, drawing loud laughter from the man and, some anxiety from the woman and the child. The scene drew some curiosity from June as well. She got up from the bed - Papa, you don't know your own child... Sello."

After his wife's passing — just six months after their 50th wedding anniversary in December 2000, an inconsolable Andrew mourned the loss of a passionate love.

He later went on to become a member of parliament. Since then, he has committed himself to a new struggle, the war on corruption.

This is the last podcast in a series: Andrew Mlangeni talks to Pippa Green about the transition into the new democracy, the capture of Jacob Zuma and, his determination to fight corruption in government.

Listen to his remarkable story in six podcast episodes as part of the History for the Future series.

For more articles like this one, visit the History for the Future: Lessons from a Rivonia Trialist feature page.


17 March 2020 2:34 PM

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