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Two of the province’s top institutions, Nelson Mandela University and Fort Hare University, instilled the importance of keeping the legacy of liberation hero Sizwe Kondile alive at the late ANC stalwart’s memorial lecture on 29 July.

Speaker at the event, political analyst and former director of public prosecutions, advocate Vusi Pikoli, painted a vivid picture of Kondile, while taking a swipe at the current leadership of the ANC.

“I am honoured and humbled to speak about my friend, brother and comrade. We are talking about the past to have critical reflection of the now and the future,” Pikoli said.

Pikoli said the freedoms Kondile had fought and died for were not necessarily the freedoms South Africans now had.

Under the banner of “The life and times of Sizwe Kondile, a story of service, suffering, sacrifice and selflessness”, Pikoli lambasted what he called the “ripening rot” within the party’s structures.

“[Kondile] never betrayed his comrades.

“His ultimate sacrifice was to liberate SA — he was never a victim and died a hero.

“Today we are having this conversation against the background of the ANC experiencing another crisis, a self-inflicted crisis where the ANC had lost its political and moral compass,” Pikoli said.

He said Kondile would have understood the current necessity of restructuring the ANC.

Kondile was abducted in June 1981 after completing his law degree at Fort Hare University. Years later it emerged he had been drugged, tortured, shot and killed; his body burnt and his ashes thrown in a river.

Last year Kondile was posthumously awarded the Order of the Mendi for bravery.

The lecture at NMU north campus was attended by representatives from the Raymond Mhlaba Centre for Governance and Leadership, the Kondile family and the Fort Hare Institute for Social and Economic Research.

Kondile family representative Pat Kondile said he was grateful the lecture was a “wholesome and welcoming experience”.

This article appeared in the Weekend Post (South Africa) on 30 July 2022 written by Devon Koen

Watch the full lecture video

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