TMF Tribute to Ntate John Nkadimeng. 

The Patron of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, President Thabo Mbeki, the Board of the TMF and its staff would like to convey their deepest condolences to the family of the Esteem Member of the Order of Luthuli in Gold, Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe, Ntate John Nkadimeng and the Tripartite Alliance.

Ntate Nkadimeng belonged to the generation of selfless leaders of our liberation movement whose commitment and immeasurable sacrifices are eternally etched in the history of the country. He remained to the end exemplary and self-effacing, despite having served for many decades in the highest echelons of the liberation struggle.

He began his political activism in the trade union movement while employed at a tobacco factory and became a Shop Steward with the African Tobacco Workers’ Union in 1949. He joined the ANC in 1950 and was among those arrested during the Defiance Campaign in 1952 and Treason Trial in 1956.

In 1955 he was elected to serve in the executive committee of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) and the National Executive Committee of the ANC.

Following a number of the arrests, detentions and banning orders he endured in the 1960s, Ntate Nkadimeng re-joined and worked for the ANC in exile in 1976. He became the General Secretary of SACTU in 1983, a position which enabled him to play an important role in the formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), at which period he also served ANC’s political and military council and the Chairperson of its Political Committee.

Following the first democratic elections, he served as democratic South Africa’s first Ambassador to the People’s Republic of Cuba in 1995.

We note that Ntate Nkadimeng departs at a sad time when his movement the ANC is facing an immense challenge to its legitimacy and survival. It is hoped that his life, his work and his selfless dedication to realise a better life for all South Africans, will inspire an emergence of a new cadre of change agents to pick up the button and act in a manner worthy of his progenitors.

Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation


07 August 2020

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