Martha Mahlangu can’t bear to visit the prison where her son, an anti-apartheid guerrilla, was hanged. But she says it’s important that other South Africans see the gallows the government opened as a monument on Thursday, and contemplate the example her son set.
“Solomon only thought of freedom, to free the black man,” she said in an interview in her Pretoria home. “He never thought of himself, only about seeing the black man free.”
The 87-year-old former maid’s voice faltered when she tried speak about being invited to take part in a series of events this week at the gallows at Pretoria Central Prison. She sat on her porch in a neighbourhood set aside for blacks under apartheid that today remains predominantly black and poor.