Phatlane a true patriot and soldier
Ekurhuleni businessman and former Umkhonto weSizwe combatant Mpho Phatlane was a tireless soldier who never gave up the fight, even during tough times.
Born in Wattville, Benoni, on March 12 1974, Phatlane attended Lesabe Primary School and then went to Etwatwa High.
He was inducted into the pioneers sector when he was 12 and from there on never looked back.
He later joined the Wattville Students Congress and Wattville Youth Congress.
He was recruited by the ANC in exile and went on to join Umkhonto weSizwe. He was trained in Uganda in guerrilla warfare and conventional warfare strategy.
On his graduation, he was placed as a member of the Mandela detachment under political commissar Abbey Sishuba.
He later became the political education officer.
Phatlane returned to South Africa in 1994 and was integrated into the the new SANDF.
He was stationed at Hoedspruit training base in Mpumalanga where he started as an infantry rifleman and later became an officer in the logistics division.
In 1997, he took advantage of black economic empowerment and quit the army to pursue business.
He became an instant success in the road construction sector.
Because of his hard work, there are many more streets in Ekurhuleni.
His friend and MKMVA colleague Chris Shongwe remembers him for his boisterous manner and patriotic spirit.
He believed in the unity of black organisations and "always preached that we must prevent political clashes in KwaThema.
He was instrumental in the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the ANCYL, PAC, Azapo and BCM in the late 1990s in Wattville".
Phatlane will be buried tomorrow at the Heroes' Acre at Phumulani Cemetery in Daveyton after a service at Stompie Skhosana Community Hall.
The service will start at 8.30am and the cortege will leave for the cemetery at 11am.
He leaves behind his wife and a baby boy.