I first met struggle stalwart, Andrew Mlangeni in 1989, when we welcomed him and his colleagues, in Mthatha (then Umtata), after their recent release from jail. Thereafter we saw each other at other functions and meetings at Shell House.
But one meeting I will never forget occurred in 1990, in Enkululekweni in Umtata, when Ahmed Kathrada, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Wilton Mkwayi, Elias Motsoaledi, John ‘Joe’ Nkadimeng, Walter Sisulu and OR Tambo met with Generals Matanzima, Mgwebi and I to discuss the so-called black-on-black violence. We were extremely impressed with their thinking and their line of questioning. One thing we agreed upon was that the plan was clear that De Klerk’s government wanted to discredit these leaders who did not have the tools necessary to defend themselves.
The Andrew Mlangeni I knew was very humble and it always made an impression on me that he decided to stay in his original home in Soweto. When we played golf together with him and he beat us, I always jokingly asked him why he played so well as there was no golf course on Robben Island for him to have practiced and that this must be investigated.
I last saw uTata uMlangeni earlier this month to present him with a gift for his birthday and wish him well, little did I know it would be the last time we would see each other.
To his family, and particular his son Sello, his friends, and the African National Congress, our deepest condolences. He will live on in our memories.