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PAC marks 40th anniversary of Robert Sobukwe's death

The Pan African Congress of Azania commemorates Sobukwe Day each year, marking the anniversary of the anti-apartheid icon's death.

Undated picture of the South African Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) founder Robert Sobukwe (L) with Potlako Leballo (R), member of the PAC. The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was a South African liberation movement, founded in 1959 after members of the African National Congress (ANC) broke away from the party. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Tuesday 27 February marks 40 years since the death of anti-apartheid icon and founder of the Pan African Congress of Azania (PAC) Robert Sobukwe.

Sobukwe, who dedicated decades of his life to fighting oppression, was imprisoned in Robben Island following the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960. He died of cancer in 1978 in Kimberley where he had been banished after his release.

The PAC has hailed Sobukwe as "one of Africa’s great intellectuals, standing alongside giants such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Patrice Lumumba of Congo".

"The voice of Robert Sobukwe is more relevant today than it has ever been. Of all the liberation leaders, Robert’s voice was considered the most dangerous. It was Robert Sobukwe who was the mastermind behind the Anti-Pass Campaign. He despised the word multiracialism since it implied racism multiplied. He coined the word Non-Racialism to define what the PAC stood for," says current PAC President Narius Moloto.

On the day the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leads a debate on land compensation without expropriation in Parliament, the party has also remembered Sobukwe.

PAC HASN'T COME TO TERMS WITH SOBUKWE'S DEATH

The PAC has also taken the opportunity to reiterate that it hasn't come to terms with Sobukwe's death.

"We have not come to terms with his tragic death in which we are told that it was cancer but we are not satisfied as the party about the cause of his death," says PAC spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe.

On Sunday, the PAC held a national lecture in Pretoria in honour of Sobukwe. It is holding another lecture this evening in Cape Town titled, 'Engaging with Sobukwe’s thoughts in the context of SA’s state capture developments: Lessons from Sobukwe’s writings.'

"Were he alive today, he would weep at the condition in which we find ourselves," Moloto said on Sunday.

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