Global icons such Julius Nyerere, Samora Machel, Fidel Castro as well as a few local icons like Oliver and Adelaide Tambo, Nelson Mandela and many others ought to be celebrated so that their contributions to the fight for freedom are never forgotten. These were the words of Premier of the Free State, Dr Ace Magashule, as he addressed a festive crowd at the unveiling of the Fidel Castro statue at the corner of the Elizabeth Street and 1st Avenue in Bloemfontein’s CBD. “We fought for freedom, we did not have it handed to us on a plate. The next battle we intend to embark on is the fight for Radical Economic Transformation (RET). We want black people to be wealthy, to have property, jobs and for them to also have offices. All the malls you see here are owned by whites. We want to implement our policies so that our people also have an opportunity to own malls,” Magashule said.
Magashule, who is also in the running to be the ANC’s national Secretary General after Gwede Mantashe took the opportunity to campaign for the ruling party. He said that the RET mandate was one issued by current President Jacob Zuma and in order for the mandate to be carried out, audiences must again vote for the ANC in December so that blacks in the province and country may have a chance at realizing economic freedom. The unveiling of the statur was at the corner of the old CR Swart Building, which is now known as the Fidel Castro Building as it was renamed in July 2015. The building houses the provincial administration and is also famed for being the city’s tallest building.