Ex-Bantustan leader Ramodike quits politics

SICKNESS: Nelson Ramodike. Pic. Elijar Mushiana. 01/06/07. © Sowetan.
SICKNESS: Nelson Ramodike. Pic. Elijar Mushiana. 01/06/07. © Sowetan.

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

A former chief minister of the apartheid-era Lebowa homeland, Nelson Ramodike, has quit politics because of illness.

Ramodike, who until recently was the leader of the Alliance for Democracy and Prosperity (ADP) and a councillor of the Greater Tzaneen municipality, in Limpopo, retired from politics after he became ill in December.

The ADP formed an alliance with the IFP to contest the 2004 general elections.

Ramodike, 65, reportedly retired on the advice of his doctor.

Sowetan visited the former Bantustan leader at his home in Polokwane yesterday and found him basking in the sun.

The old politician is a shadow of his former self. He has lost a considerable amount of weight and looks older than former president Nelson Mandela.

He said his doctor visited him twice a week to check on his progress.

"I feel okay now, unlike in December, when I took the decision to call it quits," said Ramodike.

He said his hands were swelling at the time, so much so that he could hardly use them, let alone drive.

"Doctors have warned me not to go public about the kind of disease I'm suffering from. But it has to do with my lungs," he said.

He said some senior ANC members in the province had paid him a courtesy call.