Tributes have poured in for ANC Struggle stalwart Kallie Hanekom, whose death was announced by the party on Sunday.
Hanekom has been described as a fearless leader and devoted MK operative who dedicated his life to the Struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
He died on August 9 at Groote Schuur Hospital.
ANC spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, said Hanekom embodied the ideals of the ANC, working tirelessly to advance the cause of the movement.
“His contributions may not have always been in the spotlight, but they were instrumental in shaping the course of our nation’s history.
“The ANC acknowledges comrade Kallie Hanekom as one of our unsung heroes, whose dedication to the liberation Struggle will forever be etched in the annals of our movement. His passing is a loss not only to his family and friends but to the broader ANC family and the nation as a whole,” she said.
Hanekom’s children said their father was a humble and kind man who played a profound role in their lives.
Josef Derek Hanekom said his father was a man of many faces.
“People often knew only one side but he was all of them.
“He was a runner. He was a ranked chess player. He was a coffee addict. As a father, he made sure we lived lives that understood different cultures, nationalities and people for who they were.
“He taught us resilience, equality and empathy for everyone. He was ideologically against titles and insisted on being called Kallie by us from my birth. He was one of the few people that could bring people with diametrically opposed views together. He was this and so much more,” he said.
Abraham Hanekom said his father was a life coach.
“As a child, my dream was to join the MK, Kallie raised me that way. He was humble, kind and we loved him more than I can explain.
“He had a profound impact on my whole life. He also influenced his younger brother Derek and many other white comrades in the early days, which led many to get involvement in the ANC and MK.
“He was also a loving father who coached me to run, taught me chess and would take me and my brother for walks,” he said.
In his tribute, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Hanekom dedicated his life to the advancement of a free and non-racial South Africa.
“At the age of 73, Kallie Hanekom has concluded a life of principle, struggle and commitment to a free and non-racial South Africa,” he said.
In a message to the family, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils said Hanekom led an honourable and decent life which would not be forgotten.
“He was prepared to stand up for the oppressed of our country and humanity, at a time when there were very few from the white community who possessed the intellectual strength, decency and sheer guts to do so,” he said.