PAC calls for national Sobukwe Day

PAC leader Robert Sobukwe, seen here in a 1963 file picture, spent most of his time studying during the six years he was kept in solitary confinement on Robben Island. In 1969, he was sent from the island to house arrest in Kimberley  Picture: ©BETTMANN/CORBIS
PAC leader Robert Sobukwe, seen here in a 1963 file picture, spent most of his time studying during the six years he was kept in solitary confinement on Robben Island. In 1969, he was sent from the island to house arrest in Kimberley. Picture: ©BETTMANN/CORBIS

The legacy of Robert Sobukwe‚ the founding president of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) in 1959‚ should be acknowledged with a national public holiday being declared in his honour‚ the party said on Monday — the anniversary of his birthday.

Sobukwe was born on December 5‚ 1924‚ in Graaff Reinet. He died in 1978 and

PAC spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe on Monday complained that Sobukwe‚ who was also a Student Representative Council (SRC) president at Fort Hare University‚ had been overlooked because of his political allegiance to the movement‚ as opposed to the ruling African National Congress.

“It is at times like this that we remember people like Sobukwe for his prophetic guidance when the country has been trapped in ICU for such a long time without sign of recovering. It is clear that there is a leadership void‚ we have also produced reactionary citizenry‚ people who are best at reacting to policies and decisions of the government (rather) than a participant citizenry which will mandate their own government.”

The Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) at the University of Pretoria also paid tribute to Sobukwe today‚ saying: “At every stage in his life he persistently‚fearlessly and outspokenly refused to be co-opted into the corrupt system of his day”.

“He belonged to a generation of popular but lonely leaders‚ distinguishable by their devotion‚ dedication and determination. His ability as a leader lay in seeing what needed to be done and doing it thoroughly‚ regardless of the consequences to himself.”

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