Late Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni. File photo: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Late Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni. File photo: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni was a giant amongst giants who generously gave his knowledge - Kgalema Motlanthe

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 6, 2021

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Former ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe has described the late Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni and his wife June as giants whose legacies should be remembered.

Motlanthe was speaking during a wreath-laying ceremony at the couple's gravesite in Roodepoort on Sunday.

The event was hosted by the ANC in Gauteng.

Mlangeni died in July last year and was buried beside his wife, June who passed away 20 years ago.

June 6 would have marked Mlangeni’s 96th birthday.

Mlangeni was one of the last remaining Rivonia trialists when he died last year.

He was known as a frank and honest person who was never afraid to speak the truth to power when needed.

Motlanthe said Mlangeni personified a higher calling that went beyond selfishness and was deeply committed to a better life for everyone.

"Comrade Andrew personified a higher calling that went beyond the petty notion of being selfish. He was committed to a better life for all as enshrined in the supreme law of our land - the Constitution," the former president said.

"As we pay respect, we reflect on his life as the last of the leaders who stood trial in the Rivonia Trial. He died in the year 2020 - in a time where our country and the rest of the world was ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Remembered as a giant amongst giant. He was a leader who embodied the very core of what our struggle represented and stood for. He was an elder on whose council one could rely on as he was honest and dependable. He generously gave us his knowledge and skills. His upright nature shone throughout his life," Motlanthe recalled in his short address.

( Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and the ANC Stalwart Andrew Mokete Mlangeni). Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe attends the Graduation Ceremony of the ANC Stalwart Andrew Mokete Mlangeni as he receives an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature and Philosophy at UNISA in Pretoria South Africa. 20/05/2014. Siyabulela Duda

Motlanthe also took the time to honour June, who had been held and spent time in prison in the 1950s during the dompas protest.

He described her as a symbol of leadership.

"Comrade June was a symbol of leadership in the Struggle and a leader in her own right and lived her life in service of others. She contributed to the cause of justice with many other women leaders of her generation.

"We must pledge that we will always remember their contribution and that we live up to their example," he said.

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