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President Ramaphosa pays tribute to late Ambassador John Nkadimeng

The former Ambassador to Cuba passed away on 6 August 2020 at the age of 93. He was laid to rest on Friday at Westpark Cemetry.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Pretoria | Updated: 14-08-2020 17:23 IST | Created: 14-08-2020 17:23 IST
President Ramaphosa pays tribute to late Ambassador John Nkadimeng
Bab’ Nkadimeng was among the 156 congress activists, who were detained during the Defiance Campaign in 1952 and charged with treason in the 1956 Treason Trial. Image Credit: Twitter(@PresidencyZA)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to the late Ambassador John Nkadimeng, saying his death has robbed South Africa of a valuable repository of knowledge and experience.

Nkadimeng is among a number of veterans who have passed away in recent months, including Ntate Andrew Mlangeni, his fellow Rivonia trialist Denis Goldberg, Mme Martha Mmola, Mme Mirriam Setshego Martin, Zindzi Mandela, Mama Thoko Msimang and George du Plessis.

"With the passing of Ntate Nkadimeng, yet another light in a glorious generation has been extinguished. He suffered for the freedoms that we enjoy today. He sacrificed, he fought, he led, and he was led," said the President in the eulogy.

The former Ambassador to Cuba passed away on 6 August 2020 at the age of 93. He was laid to rest on Friday at Westpark Cemetry.

Ntate Nkadimeng was accorded a Special Official Funeral Category 1 in recognition of the incredible contribution that he made to the freedom of the country.

Bab' Nkadimeng was among the 156 congress activists, who were detained during the Defiance Campaign in 1952 and charged with treason in the 1956 Treason Trial. He also went into exile, taking refuge in numerous neighbouring countries.

Ntate Nkadimeng served in the African National Congress's political and military council and served as the chairperson of the ANC's political committee.

He led the then underground South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU), where he also played an instrumental role in the formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Having suffered and sacrificed for the freedoms enjoyed in the country today, President Ramaphosa called on South Africans to embody the values of Ntate Nkadimeng of humility, volunteerism and service.

With the country in the throes of the Coronavirus pandemic, the President urged South Africans to draw on the spirit of Ntate Nkadimeng and do everything within their means to rebuild the economy.

"More than that, we must transform our economy, so that it resembles less of where we were before the pandemic and more of where we want to be.

"We must ensure that the world of work, which emerges from this crisis, is one in which the conditions of workers are dramatically improved in all respects," he said.

In light of recent allegations of corruption, President Ramaphosa called on those in positions of leadership to desist from corrupt activities and hold fast to the lessons taught by Nkadimeng's generation about serving people, respecting them and acting in their best interests.

"Day by day, we learn more about actions of thieving, looting and corruption. Day by day, the trust and confidence of our people are being eroded, leading many to proclaim that the days of ethical and selfless leadership are behind us.

"At a time when we are losing even more from the generation who led us to victory over apartheid, we are at a very real risk of destroying the gains they secured for us and our children. Their sacrifices must not be in vain," said the President.

Concluding his tribute, President Ramaphosa urged South Africans to use the passing of Nkadimeng and other veterans as a turning point against corruption and recommitment to renewal.

"It is not enough to eulogise them and laud the values by which they lived. It is only by restoring that culture of selflessness, integrity, ethical leadership and service to the people that we will uphold their legacy.

"As we carry Ntate John Kgoana Nkadimeng to his final resting place, let us recommit ourselves to the renewal of our society and our country. Brick by brick, let us finish the task of building South Africa to which he and his generation dedicated their lives," said the President.

(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)


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