Mapaila added: “Reconnecting with (the party’s) non-racial character does not mean undermining blacks. It simply means understanding our humanity. Professor Turok showed us that way.”
ANC veterans' league president Snuki Zikala noted that Turok spoke out against state capture and looting in state entities.
“Some individuals must be charged with committing treason as they were complicit and actively participated in mass looting,” he said.
Zikalala said Turok was one of the first to break ranks and speak out against the Nkandla scandal, the Guptas looting of the state and when ministers were unnecessarily fired by former president Jacob Zuma.
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe paid tribute to Turok by sharing his life story.
“Comrade Ben remained committed to the struggle for a humane and better managed SA and the world for all his adult life,” he said.
ANC NEC member Jeff Radebe read a message from Turok’s wife, Mary, who said his writings must be kept alive.
As a long-serving anti-apartheid activist, Turok was one of the party delegates tasked with drawing up and presenting the Freedom Charter in 1955. He also served three years in prison for his activism during apartheid in the 1960s.