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(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
Solomon Mahlangu: My Blood will Nourish the Tree that will Bear the Fruits of Freedom:
Solomon Mahlangu was trained as an MK soldier with a view to later rejoining the struggle in the country.
He left South Africa after the Soweto Uprising of 1976 when he was 19 years old, and was later chosen to be part of an elite force to return to South Africa to carry out a mission commemorating the June 16th 1976 Soweto student uprising.
After entering South Africa through Swaziland and meeting his fellow comrades in Duduza, on the East Rand (east of Johannesburg), they were accosted by the police in Goch Street in Johannesburg.
In the ensuing gun battle two civilians were killed and two were injured, and Mahlangu and Motloung were captured while acting as decoys so that the other comrade could go and report to the MK leadership.
Motloung was brutally assaulted by the police to a point that he suffered brain damage and was unfit to stand trial, resulting in Mahlangu facing trial alone.
He was charged with two counts of murder and several charges under the Terrorism Act, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Though the judge accepted that Motloung was responsible for the killings, common purpose was argued and Mahlangu was found guilty on two counts of murder and other charges under the Terrorism Act.
On 15 June 1978 Solomon Mahlangu was refused leave to appeal his sentence by the Rand Supreme Court, and on 24 July 1978 he was refused again in the Bloemfontein Appeal Court.
Although various governments, the United Nations, International Organizations, groups and prominent individuals attempted to intercede on his behalf, Mahlangu awaited his execution in Pretoria Central Prison, and was hanged on 6 April 1979.
His hanging provoked international protest and condemnation of South Africa and Apartheid.
In fear of crowd reaction at the funeral the police decided to bury Mahlangu in Atteridgeville in Pretoria.
On 6 April 1993 he was re-interred at the Mamelodi Cemetery, where a plaque states his last words:
‘My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.
Tell my people that I love them.
They must continue the fight.’
Mahlangu died for a cause!
The Struggle Continues…
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
(for the countless women, names unknown, who bore the brunt of Apartheid, and who fought the racist system at great cost to themselves and their families, and for my mother, Zubeida Moolla)
Pregnant, your husband on the run,
your daughter, a child, a few years old,
they hauled you in, these brutish men,
into the bowels of Apartheid's racist hell.
They wanted information, you gave them nothing,
these savage men, who skin happened to be lighter,
and white was right in South Africa back then,
but, you did not cower, you stood resolute,
you, my mother, faced them down, their power,
their 'racial superiority', their taunts, their threats.
You, my mother, would not, could not break,
You stood firm, you stood tall.
You, like the countless mothers did not break, did not fall.
You told me many things, of the pains, the struggles,
the scraping for scraps, the desolation of separation
from your beloved Tasneem and your beloved Azad,
my elder sister and brother, whom I could not grow
up with, your beloved children separated by time, by place,
by monstrous Apartheid, by brutish men,
whose skin just happened to be lighter.
You told me many things, as I grew older,
of the years in exile, of the winters that grew ever colder.
You were a fighter, for a just cause,
like countless other South African women,
you sacrificed much, you suffered the pangs,
of memories that cut into your bone, your marrow,
you resisted a system, an ideology, brutal and callous and narrow.
Yes, you lived to see freedom arrive, yet you suffered still,
a family torn apart, and struggling to rebuild a life,
all the while, nursing a void, that nothing could ever fill.
I salute you, mother, as I salute the nameless mothers,
the countless sisters, daughters, women of this land,
who fought, sacrificing it all for taking a moral stand.
I salute you, my mother, and though you have passed,
your body interred in your beloved South African soil,
you shall remain, within me, an ever-present reminder,
of the cost of freedom, the struggles, the hunger, the toil.
I salute you!
(for the brave women of South Africa, of all colours,
who fought against racial discrimination and Apartheid)
THE LAST STAND
Where have all my people gone, the Navaho, Lakota, and the Sue.
Smothered beneath the white man blanket,
Chocking for a breath of airs life's sustaining oxygen.
The beating heart of native drums, are stilled frozen,
In the middle of it's rhythmic thumping, no pulses echo,
Can be heard on the open plain.
The weeping women kneel on sacred ground, shedding
A river of bloods tears, burning a permanent scare across,
A baron landscape.
Death's black raven shields itself, under it's crimson soaked wing,
Against shames immoral injustice.
Greed's unsatisfiable hunger for land and riches fuels lusts desire,
Behold exterminations nay holocaust of the native inhabitance,
Nothing remains alive except ignorance blackened shadow.
How much blood can mother earth be forced to drink before,
She drowns herself or spits up everything undigested,
With sheer disdain and hatreds malice intent.
On a black and white chess board the winners takes it all,
Strategies grand masters playing with living pawns.
Treaties written in vanishing ink, promises disappear in thin air,
Revealing a liars sharpened tongue.
The odds have always been stacked against those believing in fairness.
A rogue tidal wave of humanity has wiped out a nation,
And it's culture within the blink of an eye.
Flights appendages are clipped on the dove of peace, leaving it
Unable to soar above it's own habitat.
Wreckage’s refugees stumble in the ruins after math,
Rapes victims of civilizations civilized,
Are left devoid of their heritages lineage and legacy.
Elders chieftains representatives of a great nation,
Smoke peace pipes in the white mans hunting lodge
As human beings are hauled like cattle's cargo,
Taken to reservations burial grounds.
Ancient ancestors lit up the heaven's vast expanse,
By torches flame,
To guide the souls of the dead unto their great spiritual
The pale horse gallops forward without a rider,
And the red people become a phantom tribe vanishing
Upon the winds shifting tides.
Giving one last final trible battle war cry,
Why my father but the great spirit answers not.
Behold America's legacy, a world trampled beneath
It's heavy iron fist, all in the name of progress or for the cause
Of Manifest destiny.
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN
Look upon city once known by name,
ruins that I called home, streets swallowed by flame,
in time alive shell not witness less of what should you understand,
reach on to hand of a stranger, scroll remain;
in signs that might be changing welcome,
different of a man.
When dawn awakes and there is no light,
upon dusk of man darkness will be spread by sight,
in time not different change will arise, life we thought you knew,
death would recognize.
Hearts will bound to King without a Crown,
why do mothers shed tears, echo rooted in the ground,
is there reason of a foolish wars, contracts written in blood,
new born babies died breathless, can't even appreciate the Sun,
don't deserve to live, not worth of the land,
existence will be scattered in ashes,
you will be remembered
Suffer not o man she cried desperate for consolation
Compassion twisted and tore at her heart
but the world she knew was silent.
Painful sounds from death filled wars, would wound her more
than jagged poison tipped arrows that pierced much too deeply.
And yet she carried on in quiet song as the world she knew kept silent.
And if the dying weren't enough, the sight of bloated bellies
and distraught mothers and sacked villages laid bare
by the unwilled force of child soldiers, would crush her spirit.
How could the world she knew keep silent?
Thinking that God did not understand her despair
She wept with abeyant tears that could not flow
as the world she knew kept silent.
To live, to die in the soiled spattered flow of time
passing through, passing through
Is the secret so sublime? Cannot she grieve?
Then silence no more was heard.
Instead a curious word within emerged
from her meditation of life's graces
a Hebrew word "Bitachon"
What was not known in agonies
was revealed in her silence.
THE SMOKESTACKS OF AUSCHWITZ
A trail of smoke fades to an autumn dawn,
as sounds of morning break unearthly still,
arising to the day, some life goes on,
while others have the fear it never will.
Some ashes drift about the morning air,
appearing as do snowflakes in a stall,
to restless breezes they drift everywhere
and they are spread about before they fall.
Each life that was, is slow in pure descent,
and longing for the earth turning below,
the mother of all life, where time is spent,
until time's all run out--it's time to go.
Down in the valley echoes from a train,
awhistling, here come the dead again.
© ron Wilson aka Vee Bdosa the Doylestown Poet
Mountains of leather,
Summit holocaust landscapes:
Valley of dead soles.
Inspired by the piles of shoes
in the Auschwitz concentration camps
Cast in stone and written in blood
Are the ideals of a lost nation?
Paving the returned ashes of the ancients
Their patience wore thin by the actions of the passionless
Armed in tools for a journey with no set direction
But their steps forward
Matter to no particular purpose but a means to no end
Instead to destruction
Is their surrounds with earth shattering sound to deaf ears
In the hope
That the blind see and fear the renowned vision of tears
And overcome by what comes over
With a super nova of banished spirits carving out time
In hope to expos
The sickened seconds and momentary minutes into hours
Those who have powers
Will note the swinging vote they wield
Those who are in this field
Have only the word as a shield
Blood spilled and dead, limp, bodies
Will be served on the far vision
Will be the cutlery of the day's dishing
From the table view only red is seen
Because all that within is left on the scene
Those who were framed in this picture
Can only refer to the Revelations of scripture
Those who were in erratic panic
Had to mirrored the ignorance that of "Titanic"
How can men put their belief in false security?
As survivors of today were fooled by the hope of tomorrow
Let’s not borrow the bravado of a lost society
Because Christianity is the true model we should follow.
A relief from stress, such a sweet paradise
A deafening crash then a blinding light
Poor boy, your fate is sealed like loaded dice.
Due to beastly luck this child I must smite.
Perhaps he'll go where I have yet to behold;
This kind, bereaved, extinguished progeny.
Ill-fated boy, please reach those gates of gold.
Oh, child! Why walk the streets of Germany?
Fully at rest for all eternity,
All I can do is hope forever that
Maybe the last thing you saw wasn't me.
My last image? Your torn figure laid flat.
in a world spinning
an unlikely dream,
running to and fro
knowing all is not
what it may seem,
o’er wishful soul’s
a futureless heart’s
afore life’s destined
twisted fearful chill,
poison suicide pill,
a wistful breath’s
free spinning wheel
siring inherent lies
o’er imaginary time,
yet fiery destination
froward final crime.
© Eugene Harvey