Leaders of the June16, 1976 Soweto Uprising, Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seatlholo, in Gaborone (Botwana) in 1977. Image credit: SAHO
By Andile Mngxitama
Four year ago i wrote:
“i know for a fact that Tsietsi Mashinini was murdered at least two weeks before he was due back in SA. i lived with Khotso Seatlholo and other SAYRCO members in Zola (Soweto) and we were preparing for his return (it was a tightly kept secret, he would have gone first to Lesotho to wait things out till Soweto was ready). Tsietsi, like Khotso, was against negotiations. Soweto was his base. his arrival would have impacted on the political developments in the country.
i was in Zola when Stockely Carmichael (Kwame Toure) called to say Tsietsi was murdered. the line was bad and it broke up. A similar call i believe was fielded to Thabo Leshilo who worked for Sowetan at the time. there is a book written by a white woman which is based on lies from beginning to end. the book says Tsietsi died from complications related to HIV/AIDS, its a lie. Khotso, Kethani, Tiyani Lybon Mabasa, and Prof Itumeleng Mosala were amongst those who received Tsietsi’s body. they fought to open the coffin (whites who were still in power were refusing). the examination showed that Tsietsi was murdered with wounds on his head and one eye indicating a blow by a heavy blunt instrument.
who killed Tsietsi? is an unfinished business and sadly Mama Miriam Makeba, who was the only other person who could give light on the matter, refused to speak about it (NB! Miriam was married to, or at least stayed with, Kwame Toure at the time and they had been accommodating Tsietsi who had just recovered from a mental breakdown). i now feel bad that when Kwame Toure was in the country in early 90s i didnt get the change to ask him for his version.
im thinking of young brave film makers who should search for the truth. itsIt’s out there. the question is, who feared the return of Tsietsi that much?”
Tonight I’m honored to have both Comrades Tiyani Lybon Mabasa and Itumeleng Mosala on a live panel discussion on the Blacks Can’t Be Racist Facebook Page at 20:00. i will put the question to them.
I’m now getting sad actually….
Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization.