Collins Chabane Foundation pays tribute to comrade JK

Benson Ntlemo

Just before the dust could settle after the Collins Chabane Foundation sent messages of condolence to the family of former Roben Island prisoner Isithwalandwe Elias Mlangeni, another ANC veteran has followed him to the afterlife.

ANC veteran Kgwana John Nkadimeng, popularly known as JK died on August 6 at the age of 93.

Condolences came from far and wide.

The Collins Chabane Foundation has joined the fray in sending condolences to the family, the ANC and the South African Communist Party following the passing on of the veteran.

Heaping praise on the late Nkadimeng following his illustrious role in politics and trade unionism, the foundation said death brings untold pain but urged South Africans to use his death to celebrate his life.

“Let us find space to celebrate the life of a fighter, a hero and the architect of our new found freedom,” said the statement.

Hailing the late veteran as one of the heroic fighters to come from the loins of the great people of Limpopo Province, the foundation said he followed on the heels of great heroes like Tshilwavhusiku Makhado, Nghunghunyani and Sekhukhune.

The statement praised Nkadimeng and his peers as “storm troopers of the 1950s and 1960s following their contribution in the building of the trade union movement with the South African Congress of Trade Unions.

After the advent of democracy, Sactu which was banned and operated from exile merged with the Congress of Trade Union of South Africa (Cosatu) and assumed the latter’s name.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared that the veteran will be given a special official funeral.

Born in Sekhukhune in 1925, he was one of the 156 activists detained following the Defiance campaign in 1952. He was one of those charged in the 1956 treason trial. He later left the country for exile.

For his role in fighting for democracy, Nkadimeng was given the Order of Luthuli in Gold by former president Nelson Mandela.

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