Politician to the bone

Onesmus Mbusi

Onesmus Mbusi

Jane Kgaladi, 74, who died last week was known for her political activism before the struggle was won.

Kgaladi of Emndeni, Soweto, died at Lesedi Clinic on June 27 after a long illness.

Her son, Thabo Mabe, is the former mayor and speaker of the Rustenburg local municipality.

Born into the royal family of the Mabe clan in Mabeskraal, Rustenburg, Kgaladi migrated to Johannesburg in the early 1950s in search for work.

Her late father, Nthwe Mabe, was known for his role in an uprising in Mabeskraal against the Bantu Authorities Act.

In Johannesburg she settled in Sophiatown where she joined the ANC Youth League.

Her political involvement saw her participate in the process to draft the Freedom Charter.

She was also one of the women who marched on the Union Buildings on August 9 1956 against the pass laws.

After the Sophiatown forced removals, Mama Jane and her late husband, Sonnyboy Kgaladi, settled in Soweto where she continued to inspire young and old.

She participated in the formation of structures such as the Federation of Transvaal Women and later the Federation of South African Women.

She also played part in the Soweto Civic Association and the Soweto Youth Congress.

After several arrests, she was banned from entering Bophuthatswana in 1985 for allegedly setting up Umkhonto we Sizwe units in Tlhabane.

She is survived by two daughters, Meleko and Doris, son, Thabo, and grandchildren.

She will be buried tomorrow at Roodepoort Cemetery. The service will be held at Naledi Hall from 9am.