13 November 2019
MEMORIAL SERVICE TO CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF ICONIC BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS MOVEMENT LEADER OF THE 70’S, COMRADE RUBIN RASHID HARE
The Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) mourns the passing of one of the iconic leaders of the Black Consciousness Movement in the 70’s, Comrade Rubin Rashid Hare. He passed away on Tuesday the previous week, and was buried the following day according to Islamic rites at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg.
To celebrate his heroic life and to afford many of the comrades of his generation and the nation at large, an opportunity to honour and pay tribute to him as a stalwart of the liberation struggle, a Memorial Service is planned as follows by his family, comrades and associates:
Date: Saturday, 16th November 2019
Address: Newclare Primary School, Pollack Avenue, Newclare, Johannesburg.
Comrade Rubin Hare is the former Deputy President of Saso in the 70’s. He served in the executive that was led by former AZAPO President and ex-Member of Parliament, Comrade Pandelani Nefolovhodwe.
He was also part of the group that was arrested after the Viva Frelimo Rallies, when the South African Student’s Organisation (SASO) and the Black Peoples’ Convention (BPC) defied the apartheid regime’s ban on celebrating the victory of Frelimo over the colonial Portuguese regime in neighbouring Mozambique.
13 SASO/BPC leaders and activists were arrested after the rallies at Curries Fountain in Durban and Mankweng at Turfloop. Among those arrested included Dr Saths Cooper, the late Muntu ka Myeza and Strini Moodley, as well as Mosioua Terror Lekota, Sadecque Variava and current AZAPO Secretary General Zithulele Cindi.
These arrests led to the marathon SASO/BPC Trial of 1974, also known as the Black Consciousness Trial. Rubin Hare was the youngest defendant in that group, aged around 18. Nomsisi Kraai, also deceased, was the only woman among the defendants.
Although charges were later dropped against him and three others, the remainder of the detainees, who came to be famously known as the Saso 9, were subsequently sentenced to long prison spells on Robben Island.
Comrade Rubin Hare was a qualified Advocate of the High Court. He was also a keen and radical poet and writer in his younger days. His emblematic poem What a Friend We Have in Vorster, and one of his essays, were used as part of the indictment against him during the trial.
The poem was a metaphorical take on the deaths of many of his comrades in detention at the time.
The lines, “If they take you to the shower
Do not take your soap with you
If they take you to the tenth floor
Ask them for a parachute”, are a melancholic recall of victims of apartheid police brutality and deaths in custody.
The poem was particularly directed at those who died at the infamous John Vorster Square Police Station like Ahmed Timol and Matthews Mabelane. Many of them died on the false pretext by the police, that they had hanged themselves or fallen to their deaths after slipping from a bar of soap in the shower.
Rubin Hare’s poem, written almost 50 years ago, reminds us today that there are many such victims throughout the country, who died without justice being served or their deaths being accounted and atoned for.
A dark pall hangs over Azania, as we mourn the passing of this radical, courageous and uncompromising proponent of Black Consciousness. Let the nation converge to celebrate the life of this struggle hero of our time who leaves an indelible mark in the annals of our history.
Noordgesig can be proud for having given us a hero like him and his childhood friend Comrade Ben Louw, another iconic SASO leader from the same area and community who has predeceased him.
It is AZAPO’s wish that comrade Rubin Hare’s heroic life will be fully appreciated and acknowledged by our nation, with the march of time.
Mooi Loop Comrade Rubin Hare!
Issued by AZAPO
Moemedi Kepadisa – Political Commissar; Cell: 079 523 7717
Amukelani Ngobeni – Publicity Secretary, Cell: 079 851 7830