Pretoria – Pan Africanist Congress stalwart Philip Ata Kgosana was described as man who fought for the rights of black people and hailed as an advocate for democracy during a memorial service, held on Wednesday at the City of Tshwane Chambers.
The event started on a high note with PAC members singing revolutionary songs and giving praises to their former leader. The auditorium was packed with mostly PAC members and military veterans.
Kgosana died on April 19, at the age of 80 after a short illness. In her speech, council speaker, Katlego Mathebe, said Kgosana fought for the return of land his entire life.
"He knew the importance of land, he lived his life with the party's slogan that Africa is for Africans, Africans for humanity and humanity for God," she said.
Mathebe described Kgosana as a man who had a passion of serving the interests of black people and who worked hard in ensuring that segregation and oppression have no room in South Africa.
Kgosana led more than 30 000 anti-pass laws protesters from Langa, Cape Town in a march to the apartheid parliament in the 1960s. He devoted his entire life to the liberation struggle and served in various leadership roles in the PAC while studying at the University of Cape Town.
Kgosana's eldest son, Motlhabani Kgosana said the family is at peace with his father's passing because he had completed his mission. "The last time I saw my father in hospital, he said thank you very much. My father often said one of the reasons he loved Jesus Christ was not because of anything wonderful he had necessarily done.
He said anyone says something, sticks to what they said and when confronted with death, continues to what they said, deserves respect. That was the basis he lived on," he said.
"Papa grew up in a poor family, he was the son of a dignified country preacher... And yet despite that, his intelligence took him to the university of Cape Town. But because he was black, he had to stay at Ilanga township."
After the 1960 march, police Kgosana the same day, he fled South Africa while on bail in late 1960 and later resumed his university studies in Ethiopia. "When my father returned from exile is still found Winterveld with no lights and running water, he was dismayed and pushed that the people of Winterveld to have water and electricity."
On 30 March 2016, Kgosana walked the 12km from Langa to Cape Town at the head of a small procession, which criticised the African National Congress government for not doing enough to take care of South Africa's poorest members.
President Jacob Zuma has declared a special provincial official funeral for the freedom fighter, and former Tshwane metropolitan municipality councillor. The funeral service will take place at the Pretoria Show Grounds on Friday.
African News Agency