The 93-year-old Ambassador John Kgoana Nkadimeng, who passed away on 6 August, will be laid to rest at Westpark cemetery on Friday.
The ANC struggle stalwart, who joined the party in 1950, founded migrant worker political organisation Sebatakgomo in 1954. The organisation was instrumental to Umkhonto we Sizwe.
Nkadimeng was actively involved in marches, pickets, boycotts and protests in the 1950s, and took part in the Congres of the People gathering in Kliptown in 1955, which saw the adoption of the Freedom Charter.
In 1951, he joined the Communist Party of South Africa, which was banned and later replaced with the South African Communist Party (SACP) in 1953.
Nkadimeng served on the SACP central committee and its Politburo until 2007.
He became part of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) in 1955, and was also a founder of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (Sactu).
In 1956, Nkadimeng was among 156 ANC NEC members, including Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and Chief Albert Luthuli, who were arrested and tried in the Treason Trial.
After his prison release, he fled South Africa for eSwatini, where he lived until 1981.
Nkadimeng became Sactu general secretary in 1983, and engaged with leaders of trade unions that formed the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in 1985.
He also served in the presidential committee that advised ANC President Tambo in 1985.
In 1995, he was appointed first Ambassador to the People’s republic of Cuba by former president Nelson Mandela.
He was a member of the provincial legislature in Limpopo from 2004 until his retirement in 2009.
In 2019, Nkadimeng’s role in fighting apartheid was honoured by the ANC bestowing an Isithwalandwe/Seaparankwe award on him.
Nkadimeng leaves behind his wife, Evelyn Dipakeng Moeketsi, six children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The ceremony started at the home of the family, after which mourners will move to Marks Part for the funeral service. Nkadimeng’s final resting place will be at Westpark cemetery in Johannesburg.
The live stream of Nkadimeng’s funeral can be viewed here:
(Compiled by Nica Richards)