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ANC remembers compatriots who fell in Matola

31 January 2018

The African National Congress today remembers comrades of our movement, both South African and Mozambican, who fell in the Matola Raid in 1981. On this day, 31st January in 1981, South Africa's bloodthirsty apartheid forces raided an ANC residence in Matola, Mozambique, brutally killing 12 and abducting 3 of our compatriots in one of many relentless assaults against the people's cause for freedom.

In a statement released in Matola following the raid, ANC President Oliver Tambo said,
"The crime perpetrated against the people of Mozambique and the people of South Africa, members of the ANC in this city has a lesson for us. It was unprovoked. It was not covered by any of the normal excuses for aggression. There have never been ANC camps in Mozambique. There are residences like everywhere else in the world. If residences are liable to attack let us be told…There is no reason why this regime should be tolerated any more. Our resolve is a calm resolve. It is a cool resolve. It acknowledges that we are dealing with a kind of Hitler here, with fascism and Nazism. It is merciless, it is strong even, it can yet put up a fight. But let us rise like one man, as one people, to overthrow that regime."

As we remember those comrades who fell in Matola, Comrade Tambo's words remain instructive. We must continue to the fight, with a calm and cool resolve, to defeat the remnants of apartheid and the legacy of dispossession. Ours is a struggle against forgetting. We must, at all times, reject opportunistic calls for us to forget apartheid and the ills it leveled against our people.

Armed by the progressive and far reaching resolutions of the 54th National Conference, we must advance the struggle, to return the land to the people, that our comrades lost their lives for in Matola. We must pay homage to them by continuing to unite our movement, restore its credibility and undertake a program of fundamental organizational renewal. Their blood was not spilt in vain, they are casualties of the freedoms we enjoy today and we should never fail them in a quest to build a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.

Issued by
Gwede Mantashe
National Chairperson
African National Congress

Khusela Diko
072 854 5707