Mpumalanga to honour activist Simelane

A FEMALE activist who disappeared in 1983 after being abducted by apartheid security police will be honoured.

A FEMALE activist who disappeared in 1983 after being abducted by apartheid security police will be honoured.

The Mpumalanga provincial government announced yesterday that Nokuthula Simelane's life-size statue will be unveiled on November 28 in recognition of her contribution to the freedom struggle.

Arts and culture department spokesperson Sechaba Mphahlele said: "The unveiling of the statue is in recognition of the role she played in the attainment of freedom in South Africa.

"As the government, we see the unveiling of Simelane's statue as just recognition and honour of a true heroine whose patriotism gave birth to what South Africa is today.

"This project will also boost our efforts to document history for the benefit of future generations," Mphahlele said.

He added that Simelane's statue was part of the department's plans to acknowledge local liberation struggle icons at the Bethal Cultural Precinct, which include the regeneration of the Nomoya Masilela Museum - formerly known as Bethal Museum - as well as developing an amphitheatre in the precinct.

At the time of her disappearance Simelane, who was a link between freedom fighters in South Africa and Swaziland, was preparing for her graduation at the University of Swaziland for a degree in Administration.

To date, her whereabouts are unknown despite media coverage on her disappearance, including a documentary entitled Betrayal, which was screened on SABC.

It is believed that Simelane died from severe injuries after being tortured by Vlakplaas operatives. But as to what happened to her body after the suspected torture remains a mystery.

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