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SA pays tribute to Fidel Castro

November 30, 2016.

PAYING RESPECTS:  Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa signs a condolence book for late Cuban leader Fidel Castro at Tuynhuys, Parliament in Cape Town yesterday. Picture: GCIS

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe used a memorial service for late Cuban president Fidel Castro in Johannesburg to crack the whip following recent events in the party.

Describing Castro as a revolutionary, Mantashe said the late Cuban leader remains an inspiration to millions of South Africans.

He said imperialism, which Castro stood against, was not dead and this meant the spirit of Castro lived on as the battle against imperialism still needed to be fought.

Mantashe said South Africa owed its liberation to the efforts of the Cubans

He spoke harshly against divisions within the movement, saying “comrades could argue without hating each other”.

“Disagreeing as comrades is not a problem. The problem is when disagreement becomes hatred. As comrades we are able to argue but continue loving each other, ” he said.

Earlier this week some members of the ANC labelled Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom a racist after he argued that President Jacob Zuma should step down.

Speaking at the same memorial on behalf of the ANC Women’s League, AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma described Fidel’s importance in world history as “monumental”.

Dlamini Zuma said Castro not only fought for the liberation of Cuba, but for all oppressed people of the world, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or gender.

“As we dip the flags of our AU member states and South Africa, we must remember the legacy of service and internationalism left to us by president Fidel Castro,” she said.