Library to be renamed after activist

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

The Modjadjiskloof library in Limpopo will be renamed in honour of local heroine and workers' rights activist Mapula Leah Lathane.

Greater Letaba municipal mayor Joshua Matlou confirmed this at Lathane's funeral service in GaKgapane township at the weekend.

Lathane, 41, died of cancer at the Faerie Glen Hospital in Pretoria on October 23.

At the time of her death she was a municipal librarian in Modjadjiskloof and was also secretary of the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) in the Far North.

She was described as a vibrant force in the fight for workers' rights in various municipalities in the province.

She will be honoured for her tireless efforts to improve the state of education in the municipality by encouraging the culture of reading among the youth.

Matlou described Lathane as a fearless woman who always ensured that workers got what they wanted and that their rights were respected.

"Lathane was not easily intimidated by management, and it was also not easy to stop her from knocking on the doors of management if workers' grievances had to be attended to," Matlou said.

He said they decided to rename the library after her because she was the one who persuaded the municipality to build the state-of-the art library in the heart of the small Limpopo town.

The new multi- million library was built last year and officially opened early this year.

Before she was appointed librarian she was a temporary teacher at the Mokutupi and Tlhapedi Primary schools, respectively, from 1994 to 1995. She later joined the municipality as a librarian from 1996 until her death last month.

She is survived by her husband Peter and two sons, Matome and Mankuru.