Dr Andrew Mlangeni’s Assembly Address
Directly after his address to the senior pupils on Friday the 27th of January, Dr Andrew Mlangeni, one of the three remaining 1963 Rivonia trialists who led the struggle against Apartheid, was invited to address the whole School at the Friday assembly.
Dr Mlangeni beamed as he sat facing the packed Noel Taylor Hall, and - with astounding charm and wit - recounted his experience of the Rivonia Trial and the part he played in the struggle against Apartheid, alongside South African icons such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Denis Goldberg and Govan Mbeki.
The words of our struggle-stalwart guest were truly awe-inspiring, particularly when he imparted wisdom to the pupils about how to safeguard values and rights - for all South Africans in the future - so as to create an equal, all-inclusive, culturally-diverse and accepting society in which we are all proud South Africans.
Dr Mlangeni stated that the youth need to carry the torch lit by our older generations into the country’s future and hold the ideals for which the struggle stood. He urged that peace and the welfare of everyone in South Africa must be maintained through current movements such as #FeesMustFall and through any future challenges our country may face, emphasising that any such protests should be non-violent. He stressed the importance of a solid education and a meaningful, beneficial career, and encouraged pupils to be good citizens, to always be involved in ensuring South Africa’s wellbeing and to become great leaders of the country.
Having given the school a great deal on which to reflect, Dr Mlangeni concluded his address, leaving his audience full of hope and inspiration. The School sang The National Anthem before our esteemed South African icon, Dr Andrew Mlangeni, made his exit. Pupils will remember this historic day for many years to come.
Westerford is confident that its pupils will strive to create and safeguard the South Africa that Dr Andrew Mlangeni and our great South African struggle heroes envisaged - for the benefit of all South Africans.
Yuri Behari-Leak Grade 12