African National Congress National Executive member and deputy finance minister Dr David Masondo has praised the late community leader Gezani Solomon Maswanganyi for his sacrifices for the liberation of black people.
Speaking at Thomo Village during the funeral service of Maswanganyi who was a veteran ANC leader, Dr Maswanganyi said he belonged to the second generation of ANC leaders that included others like the late Nelson Mandela.
Dr Masondo said the first generation is the one of the founders of the ANC in 1912 and the second is that of those who took over from the second generation.
He said he did not work with the late leader but worked closely with his son ANC MP Joe Maswanganyi who was at one time deputy president of the ANC Youth League under Malusi Gigaba.
“I think although I did not have the opportunity to work with him, I think it is like I have done so because I have worked with his son comrade Joe Maswanganyi who has proved to be a good leader, “said Masondo.
Many notable ANC leaders attended the service held at Thomo community hall.
Those who attended included former North west Premier Supra Mahumapelo, MP’s Bongani Bongo, Musa Chabane, Limpopo MEC Basikopo Makamu, as well as local MP Kate Bilankulu.
Also at the service was former Azapo leader Lybon Mabasa and his young brother Godfrey, himself former Mk cadre.
The late leader born at the old Shigamani now Vuwani on February 28 1938, being the second born son of Ndhwandwa Maswanganyi and his wife Nwa Mkhacani.
After passing his Junior Certificate at Rivubye High in Vuwani, he went to Madibane High in Diepkloof in Soweto. It was while at Madibane that he acquired a bursary to study towards General certificate of Education in London but he could not go to London to study because the then apartheid government would not grant him the permission to go there and study.
He then was able to go to Zambia where he went to Mindola Economic Foundation to learn Textile printing and design.
In his quest for more knowledge, he visited countries such as Mozambique, Botswana and Lesotho. He was assisted by his mentor and friend, Mr Robinson.
He later came back to South Africa to seek work in Johannesburg and he found one at Cape Paint and Vanishing at Jeppestown.
After some time he returned to his home area of Limpopo and dabbled in agriculture.
He acquired a plot in Shayandima and ran a strong agricultural scheme and also join the church the Seventh Adventist Church, the same church that officiated at his funeral service..
Maswanganyi also did a lot including pottery, sewing and carving.
He visited schools and made uniforms which he sold to them.
He also sent his craft products to the Easter Rand Show in Johannesburg.
Around 1990, he was at the peak of his art work and sent some items to as far as Manzini in Swaziland.
All this time he was doubling up as a political activist and he was never in the good books of the apartheid government.
During his time outside South Africa, the security police harassed his family as they usually did with families of political activists.
He sought hideouts in places like Gawula.
But at last he handed himself to the police in Sibasa who did not have enough information to charge him.
Many speakers talked of his persuasive nature something that led to his relative nicknaming him Xichukelani, meaning sugar.
They said he has a sweet tongue like sugar.
The local traditional leader Hosi Thomo said to have allowed Maswanganyi to settle in his village has had many spinoffs in the community.
“Because of him, we are able to see people like former North west Premier Supra Mahumapelo, the people whom we were only seeing on national television,“ said Hosi Thomo.