The Mlambo Family and all Comrades, Ma-Afrika in the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, this is not a good moment. A great man has left us just when we needed him the most.
A freedom fighter, a political prisoner on Robben Island at the young age of 23, a diplomat, a people’s soldier commanding the Azanian People’s Liberation Army, a leader of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania at home and in exile.
This humble servant of the African people, endured deep suffering and humiliation on Robben Island. Yet, his humble, observant nature and listening skills gave him leadership skills that enhanced his servant leadership style. A simple man, gracious and one of the decent men of honor in the PAC. He had great faith and was grounded in his Christian beliefs which set him aside as a man of integrity.
I came to know Comrade Mlambo in the underground movement in the 1980’s and openly when I served the Pan Africanist Congress at the United Nations in New York and at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva in Switzerland where I represented the victims of apartheid and colonialism. As a diplomat, he had the ability to present the case for self-determination, land repossession and spoke convincingly about the plight of the African people living under apartheird and colonialism. He was and indefatigable campaigner with friends of the PAC anti-apartheid movements.
I worked very closely with Comrade Johnson Mlambo after I returned from exile after thirty two years.
I know him well. He was a man of integrity. He never cheated or lied. He never stole anybody’s money. He sacrificed his life for his African people. He helped everybody who needed his assistance personally or officially. Comrade Johnson Mlambo was gold for the Pan Africanist Congress and for the national and continental cause of Africa. He will remain gold for the people of this country and undying patriotic inspiration for them.
He valued peace among Africans. He knew and warned that without unity and peace among us as Africans we shall not be as progressive as in those of the leadership of Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, Zephaniah Mothopeng, Selby Ngendane and many other stars. He took leadership of the PAC from John Pokela after Pokela spent 20 years on Robben Island. He led with courage and humility at one of the most difficult times of our struggle. He loved his family and home was a sanctuary. He had a great sense of humor and his laugh could bellow from a distance.
Long live Comrade Johnson Mlambo and his family and the Pan Africanist Congress. This is their beginning, not their end. Izwe Lethu!
By Dr. Motsoko Pheko