Bulhoek a reminder to find ‘strength in unity’
The ANC has requested the department of sport, recreation, arts and culture to work with the South African Heritage Resource Agency to have the location of the Bulhoek Massacre declared as a national heritage site.
The grave site of Enoch Mgijima will also be made into a grade one cemetery. This was announced by ANC PEC member, also serving as health MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth, who was delegated by premier Oscar Mabuyane to launch the 100th Bulhoek Massacre commemoration in his place.
The event, attended by ANC officials and Church of God and Saints of Christ members, began at the former showgrounds, now the Nonesi Mall.
It is a significant location, because it is where the party began its partnership with the church through Enoch Mgijima in the 1920s, during the liberation struggle.
Meth said the ANC the Church of God and Saints of Christ had traveled the same road.
The role of this church was what the party planned to focus on.
”The ANC has not given you a fair share. ”We know how various churches have contributed to the liberation of the country without receiving acknowledgement.
By not emphasising their contribution to the historical narrative of the struggle we neglect the contribution of unsung heroes and heroines,consequently providing an imbalanced history of the liberation struggle.”
She said the ANC and the said church shared the view of colonialism being the fundamental problem.
”Various church leaders, including Enoch Mgijima, took part in the struggle.
”Today honour Mgijima, who made a great contribution to the status of Lingalibalele Dube an outstanding educationist, Sol Plaatjie and the Rev Walter Rubusana, a man of a cloth.”
She said the church had played a role in ensuring the ANC governed within the mandate to return the land to its rightful owners. This was why the bill before parliament was for expropriation without compensation.
The ANC would continue to support this church which had demonstrated bravery in fighting social ills which dragged down the dignity of people, she said.
Meth added that the ANC was besieged with in-fighting and was in desperate need of prayers.
Church elder advocate, Thulani Sagela, said the church wanted the commemoration contributed towards nation building and bring hope to the nation during the devastating pandemic.
”This pandemic reminded us that we need each other, and there is strength in unity,” he said.
He added that the church wanted the commemoration to also contribute to a discourse that affected the vulnerable people in the country.
”We thank Gela, the chairperson of the ANC. The support that you have rendered to our church has not gone unnoticed,” Sagela said.