Johannesburg - The African National Congress has mourned the death of struggle veteran Ntate Lesiba “Ike” Maphoto at the age of 88 on Saturday.
"Bra Ike, as he was popularly known, belonged to that generation of selfless freedom fighters who were prepared to pay the ultimate price in pursuit of the liberation of their country," the ANC said in a statement.
"He joined the ANC at a time when it was not fashionable to do so. Being a member of the ANC at the time was an invitation for state harassment, police brutality, torture, and even death," it said.
History would record that Maphoto was one of the first recruits of Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK), the ANC armed wing. In 1963, he was sent to the former Soviet Union for political and military training as part of the "Luthuli Detachment".
"As an MK commander, he distinguished himself as a disciplined and fearless freedom fighter. He served 13 years in prison after being captured by enemy forces for his role in the Sipolilo Campaign.