Mthuli ka Shezi We Salute You

In December 1972 apartheid showed its dirty face when Mthuli ka Shezi became the first martyr of the Black Consciousness Movement. He had been elected Vice Precident of the Black People's Convention in July 1972. Mthuli met his death at Germiston railway station. Before he died he related events that had preceded his 'accident'. What was his 'accident'?

Shezi stated that several days before the accident he had quarrelled with some white railway employees, after objecting and coming to the defence of a black woman being drenched with water by a white employee at a railway station. Days after his quarrel with the railway employees, he went through Germiston station. It was on the 12th of December 1972. He was apparently spotted by one of the European railway employees with whom he had previously quarrelled. This man chased Shezi, caught and overpowered him. He then pushed him onto the rails in front of the on-coming train. After being knocked down and dragged by the train, Mthuli sustained a fractured pelvis, dislocated hip and a ruptured bladder. Five days later. Mthuli died in hospital. The police said they 'suspected no foul play'.

Shezi was a South African playwright and political activist. He was a student activist when he attended the University of Zululand. His writing reflected the struggle of recovering African identity in colonial and post-colonial societies, a topic which reflects his involvement in the Black Consciousness Movement as well as the influence of Frantz Fanon.

He posthumously received the Order of Luthuli for his "political leadership, outstanding contribution to the performing arts, and activism against apartheid". He became a symbol for the struggle of black South Africans against the apartheid regime.

Our Freedom Fighters died for a Cause! ALUTA!

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