ANC luminaries to celebrate Mabitse

Moyahabo Mabeba

Senior ANC politicians are expected to be part of a huge crowd to celebrate struggle hero Radithupa Edwin Mabitse at the Mokomene stadium tomorrow. .

The proceedings will begin with the unveiling of the tombstone at a cemetery in the Maserolo section in Mokomene, north of Polokwane. He was born on August 28, 1958 at GaRamokgopa in Limpopo and passed away at his Meadowlands, Soweto, home in 2004.

Phuti Makoala, an ANC member and cousin-brother to Mabitse, said: "While I can confirm that senior government officials from both national and provincial offices have confirmed that they will be at the ceremony, I cannot disclose their identity."

The latter, who said he had spent a lot of time with the former MK warrior, said this weekend's carnival would be "the celebration of the legacy of the man who sacrificed for the freedom of his people and his country of birth."

Mabitse joined the ANC armed wing at the age of 17, after taking part in the 1976 students' revolt against inferior education and joined the ranks of the MK in exile. In the same year in Lesotho he completed his Cambridge Overseas Senior Certificate of education. He then proceeded to Angola for military and political training. Mabitse catapulted to political stardom when he joined Oliver Tambo, then ANC president, as a speechwriter and personal assistant, having served in the ANC's Department of International Affairs in exile. He was integrated into the South African National Defence Force in 1994 at the rank of Brigadier. He retired from the army in 1997. He was buried in Soweto, exhumed and recently reburied at his ancestral home.