POLITICAL PARTIES MUM ABOUT CHIEF LUTHULI’S DEATH ANNIVERSARY
By: Menelisi Ndwandwe
While Mandela Day was celebrated with much fanfare around the country, the 48th
anniversary of the African National Congress (ANC) stalwart Chief Albert Luthuli went by without significance.
Luthuli died on 21 July 1967 in Groutville after he was struck and killed by a train. There was not a single tweet or post on social media by the ANC or opposition parties to commemorate Luthuli’s death anniversary but he was remembered by local radio stations.
Vuma FM drive time show presenter Mathumo Manaka said Luthuli’s death had been controversial.
“The lion fell…the apartheid regime had too much attention on Luthuli. I never miss his memorial lectures,” said Manaka during his show.
Gagasi FM had a competition asking their listeners what was Luthuli’s middle name via the twitter account of radio dj, Alex Mthiyane, the host of talk show Indaba.
Mqiniseni Mpanza, who follows politics closely, said he was not worried that there was not much done to remember Luthuli.
“His legacy will never be disregarded. We have hospitals, municipalities, roads and even a convention centre named after him,” said Mpanza.
According to his biography on website www.luthulimuseum.org.za, Luthuli was the first South African to be awarded the Nobel Price for Peace and he died in office as
the President of the ANC, a position he held for 13 years.
He was seen as an international icon and was visited by the then United States Senator Robert Kennedy in an unofficial visit in 1966.