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ANC statement on the execution of Solomon Mahlangu

6 April 1979

This morning Solomon Mahlangu, a heroic son of our people and dedicated member of the African National Congress was executed by the white minority racist regime. The African National Congress of South Africa regards this as an act of political murder.

Comrade Solomon Mahlangu, a young hero of the South African revolutionary struggle, a survivor of the Soweto and other massacres perpetrated throughout the country by the fascist regime in 1976, a dedicated opponent of racism, Apartheid and colonial domination, was hanged in Pretoria at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 6th, 1979. Solomon Mahlangu`s only crime was his deep love for his people, his commitment and dedication to the noble ideal of freedom, human dignity and happiness of the people.

It is no accident that the Botha-Vorster fascist regime chose April 6th for this heinous crime against our people and the rest of humanity. On April 6th 1652, three-hundred and twenty-seven years ago, Jan van Riebeeck landed at the Cape of Good Hope, heralding the beginning of the dark era of colonial subjugation and plunder in South and Southern Africa. With the passage of time the peoples of this region were progressively reduced to a status of colonial vassals serving the interests of the imperialist oppressors and their hangers-on.

Thus the blood-thirsty fascist Botha-Vorster junta has decided to observe the 327th anniversary of this colonial event by murdering Comrade Solomon Mahlangu who in his early youth had chosen to join the vast army of revolutionaries dedicated to wipe off this dark colonial past and usher in an era of national independence, social progress and happiness for the peoples of Southern Africa and Africa as a whole.

The execution of Solomon Mahlangu poses a new and urgent challenge to the fighting people of South Africa and international public opinion as a whole. It is inconceivable that the Botha-Vorster regime can be permitted to continue to disregard the demands of the overwhelming majority of mankind with callous impunity.

This callous act, in defiance of appeals made by the international community, including leading statesmen and the Security Council of the United Nations, is further proof of the brutality and intransigence of the racist regime.

The African National Congress wishes it to be known that this act of murder will not go unpunished.

Nor will this murder, deep felt to our people and our movement, deter the ANC from intensifying the struggle.

By making the supreme sacrifice Solomon Mahlangu has demonstrated the most noble qualities of a true patriot. This reflects the fighting spirit of our people.

The African National Congress salutes Solomon Mahlangu hero of our struggle.

We salute the courage of Martha Mahlangu and family. Amanda! Matla! Power to the People!