Andrew Mlangeni’s son: My father would return to Robben Island as a prisoner

Sello Mlangeni was speaking at a funeral service held in honour of the African National Congress veteran at University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus earlier on Wednesday.

Pallbearers carry the coffin of South African anti-apartheid figure Andrew Mlangeni during the funeral service in Soweto, South Africa, on 29 July 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The son of struggle icon Andrew Mlangeni said he had no doubt that if the need arose for his father to return to Robben Island as a prisoner, he would have done it again.

Sello Mlangeni was speaking at a funeral service held in honour of the African National Congress veteran at University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus earlier on Wednesday.

Mlangeni was laid to rest next to his wife, June, at the Roodepoort Cemetery. He died last week at the age of 95.

When Andrew was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment by the apartheid government, he left behind four children and his beloved wife, June.

Sello, who was a boy at the time, said he felt robbed of a father and his mother was forced to become a widow while her husband was alive.

But Andrew’s son has no doubt his father would do it again: “Without question, he would be ready to carry the spear again and go to prison if needs be, because he loved the country and the people.”

He said they were grateful for the time they spent with him: “There were years in which we truly felt that we wouldn’t know him as a father, as a grandfather or as a great grandfather and as a man. To have you back with us for almost 30 years has been the greatest blessing to us.”

Sello said now that his father was gone, he had lost a friend, confidant and comrade.

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