Today we pay tribute to one of South Africa’s greatest but sometimes forgotten heroes of the struggle for freedom – Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe is arguably one of the less documented freedom fighters in South Africa. As a leader of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Sobukwe led from the forefront in the anti-pass campaign which resulted in the infamous 21 March 1960 Sharpeville massacre, in which 69 people died. His famous quote: ‘There is only one race, the human race.’ resonates in us the very essence for which he stood for, a non-racial future rather than a multi-racial one.
Inducted in the Gallery of Leaders, alongside other heroes and heroines who made outstanding contributions in the struggle for freedom and humanity, Sobukwe’s greatest contribution was in his bravery and capacity to inspire a people to revolt against injustice, as manifested in the Sharpeville protest which exposed once and for all the brutality and fascism of the apartheid regime. However, although many people know his name, they have been robbed of the history of how he fought against apartheid and an understanding of his ideals and values.