PAC youth: name hospital for Zondeni

Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe is remembered during one of the memorial services held in the Eastern Cape for her. Here students from the University of Fort Hare in East London are singing PAC struggle songs.
Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe is remembered during one of the memorial services held in the Eastern Cape for her. Here students from the University of Fort Hare in East London are singing PAC struggle songs.
Image: Michael Pinyana

The youth wing and student wing of the PAC want the University of Fort Hare (UFH) and Victoria Hospital in Fort Beaufort named after Robert Sobukwe and his wife Zondeni.

The call was made at a memorial service for Zondeni at the UFH East London campus on Wednesday. She died on August 15. Victoria Hospital is where she trained as a nurse and met her husband. PAC Youth Congress provincial co-ordinator Phumzile Nomnga said “mama” Sobukwe was likely the last struggle stalwart to die before the PAC was united. Sobukwe's name and injustice did not mix and if PAC youth allowed injustice to find expression in “Azania”, they were not fit to carry the Sobukwe name, he said.

“If we want to associate ourselves with the Sobukwe name and the PAC, we can’t live with injustice. Injustice of rape and landlessness can’t be tolerated. Victoria Hospital must be named after mama Sobukwe.

“But if this does not happen mama, your spirit must not be troubled,” he added.

This heroine leaves at a time when we need women of character

Student movement Pasma’s provincial secretary Lukhanyo Songo accused the ANC government of sidelining PAC leaders. He called on PAC leaders to ensure the party was united. “It has been 10 years since the PAC was divided. If you want mama to rest in peace, you must unite the PAC. We are busy with the struggle to have UFH renamed Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe University,” he said.

Songo agreed with Nomnga about renaming Victoria Hospital. He said Pasma was available to assist unite the party.

Contralesa provincial secretary Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana said traditional leaders in the province had a strong relationship with the PAC, and the PAC needed to be united and protected. “Africa is for Africans and we can’t share it with people who came here with luggage. We are quick to talk about democracy and in the process lose our identity,” he said.

Nonkonyana commended the PAC for remaining loyal to Sobukwe’s vision even when the party did not have money. “Do not hesitate when you need our support. We will not hesitate as we believe in a PAC that must be in its rightful place in society. This heroine leaves at a time when we need women of character,” he said.

PAC deputy president Mzwanele Nyontso said unity was the central message. “If I was in church I would say during the passing of mama Sobukwe we united the PAC. We see this as the start to strengthening the PAC so that it occupies its rightful place in the politics of Azania,” he said, adding members of different factions were at Zondeni Sobukwe's home on Tuesday telling the Sobukwe family that they were united. The party had another memorial service in Alice and the main service in Graaff-Reinet.

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