Bokamoso Barona Investment Trust Launching Statement

Tshilidzi Ratshitanga
Honourable Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngquka; Honourary Life President of COSAS Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Leadership of the African National Congress;
Honourable Ministers of the Government of the Republic of South Africa;
Current Leadership of COSAS, SASCO and SASPU;
Leadership of Fraternal Youth Organisations;
Distinguished Guests; and

Fellow Trustees and Patrons of Bokamoso Barona Investment Trust,

Receive our warm welcome to this important evening of the launch of Bokamoso Barona Investment Trust. Join me when I salute and welcome amongst our midst the Revolutionary Spirits of fallen student movement heroes and heroines. We call upon the spirit of Tsietsi Mashinini, Hector Peterson, Ephraime Mogale, Thami Rubusana, Josphene Moshobane, Kgomotso Masebelanga, Mike Koyana and KK Papiyana. Arise the spirit of Solomon Mahlangu, Sicelo Dlomo, Barney Molokwane, Papo Molefe, Castro Pilusa, Thobile Mbatha, Tsepiso Mokoena and Mthunzi Dube.

They are the great patriots who departed without fully benefiting from the fruits of freedom. Their departure has served to remind us of the commitment we have to make to continue where they left off. Tonight we bring this house to attention when we salute the ever so defiant revolutionary spirit of Robert Mathebula, Sipho Albert Mahlangu, Wanga Sigila, Nthuthuzelo Ngwane, Selborne Mabunda, Gorbachev Michael Mojapelo, Teacher Vanga, Lele Mhlala, Sphiwe Alfred Ngomane, Lesh Mathebe, July Mokoena and Hezekiel Madondo.

They were our leaders. They dedicated their life to the struggle for the emancipation of South Africa’s people from racial oppression. They devoted their entire youth to contribute to a cause whose attainment has brought us freedom and joy. Alongside them were Milicent Motebe, Clot Qavane, Parks Leboro, Mayenzeke Ntlathi, Percival Jaas, and Nombulelo Matolweni. These are the cadres who kept the fires burning.

Tonight we ululate when we announce that in their honour, Bokamoso Trust will create a monument of the fallen heroes and heroines of the student movement. We will commence a consultative process to identify all these revolutionaries of our struggle to ensure that we cover all the corners of our country. We will need your help, for it shall not be an easy task, but like philosophers have said, it should not cease to be done because it is difficult, if it were easy it would be done by all.

Master of Ceremony it is a great pleasure to stand before this august occasion to greet those of the revolutionary student movement struggle days who have survived these heroes and heroines of our history. You are the living agents who bear testimony that our struggle was not in vain and have remained to tell the story of the burning years. Upon your shoulders you carry a heavy duty, the duty to be true to your fallen heroes and succeed the task of transforming our country into a truly prosperous nation.

We are brought here tonight to celebrate the achievement of a vision. The three founding organizations of Bokamoso, COSAS, SASCO and SASPU, realized a long while ago that with freedom and liberation also came the challenge of the future sustainability of their existence. They responded to this challenge by initiating the formation of Bokamoso. Although initially the Trust did not operate properly for a long time, it has now been revived. New Trustees have been brought on board and are all very committed to see this vision become a reality.

All of us in the Trust have an experience and a relationship with the struggles of the student organizations that founded this Trust. We serve in this Trust with the belief that the role of these formations is as relevant today as it was during the dark days of apartheid. Indeed the orientation of their current struggles have changed or need to change. We have to be part of shaping this new orientation and assist these organizations to remain relevant during this period of sophisticated transition towards the attainment of a united nation.

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