Nelson Mandela Museum pays tribute to Dr Andrew Mlangeni on his funeral day

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His life after prison to his passing on

He served as a member of parliament for the ANC from 1994 to 1999. He also served once more in the National Assembly from 2009 to 2014 when he retired. A very close friend of Nelson Mandela, Mlangeni spoke at Mandela’s memorial service at the FNB Stadium.

In 2015, the film about Mlangeni was made called, Prisoner 467/64: The Untold Legacy of Andrew Mlangeni. Also in 2017, Mlangeni appeared with fellow Rivonia Trialists- Denis Goldberg and Ahmed Kathrada along with lawyers Joel Joffe, George Bizoz and Denis Kuny in a documentary film entitled Life is Wonderful. In April 2018 Andrew Mlangeni received two Honorary Doctorates, one in Education from the Durban University of Technology and in Law by the Rhodes University.

Andrew Mlangeni was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in July 2018 at the age of 93. He was a guest of honour at the opening of the Mandela Centenary Exhibition at the South Bank Centre, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. On the Centenary Celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birth, he also read Mandela’ favourite poem-Invictus- which was aired on the BBC’s News night programme.

Andrew Mhlangeni along with his wife had the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation which has its roots in Dube, Soweto, where June Mlangeni resided while he was in prison. June started caring for the elderly in Dube, by making them clothes and preparing meals for them. The respect he enjoyed came not from trying to be popular, but from trying to do the right thing when the times demanded it. June and Andrew Mlangeni had four children.

Mlangeni described meeting Mao Tse Tung who visited him while in MK camp in China as the highlight of his life, where he went with others like Raymond Mhlaba.

Andrew Mlangeni had a twin sister, Emma, who died in 1989 few weeks before his release. He described the pain of losing his sister as the greatest emotional pain. the apartheid government refused him permission to attend her funeral which was very important in the Sotho culture that a surviving twin be at the graveyard. In 2001 Andrew Mlangeni suffered another emotional blow when, shortly after 50th anniversary of his marriage to June, she died from cancer.

Andrew Mlangeni lived in the same modest house in Dube, where he was arrested, until his death. In the post-apartheid era, Mlangeni’s new struggle was against corruption.