NATIONAL NEWS - President Cyril Ramaphosa described struggle hero Andrew Mlangeni as a “champion” while paying tribute to the African National Congress (ANC) veteran on Wednesday.
This follows the passing of Mlangeni, aged 95, after he was admitted at the 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane, Pretoria, on Tuesday following an abdominal complaint.
In a statement, Ramaphosa praised the last “Rivonia Trialist”, saying he was “a unique example of heroism” in South African’s history.
“Bab’ Mlangeni’s dramatic life was a unique example of heroism and humility inhabiting the same person and throughout his long life, he remained a beacon of ethical leadership and care for humanity in our own country and around the globe.
“With his passing as the last remaining Rivonia Trialist, Bab’ Mlangeni has indeed passed the baton to his compatriots to build the South Africa he fought to liberate and to reconstruct during our democratic dispensation.
“He was a champion and exemplar of the values we need to build a South Africa that provides dignity and opportunity for all and which takes its rightful place in the global community of nations.
The president offered his sincere condolences to the Mlangeni family as well as the friends, comrades and associates of the struggle hero countrywide and internationally.
“My thoughts are with the Mlangeni family today and with all who have had the blessing of meeting and being touched by Bab’ Mlangeni’s passion for achieving a better society as well as his passion for a life that is well-rounded, adventurous, healthy and embracing of people from all walks of life.”
Ramaphosa participated in Mlangeni’s birthday’s celebration last month in the company of, among other notable guests, former president Thabo Mbeki, former president Kgalema Motlanthe and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Mlangeni was awarded Isithwalandwe Seaparankwe – the highest honour by the ANC for those who have made an outstanding contribution to the liberation struggle in 1992 – and received the Presidential Order for Meritorious Service: Class 1: Gold from President Nelson Mandela in 1999.