Home South Africa News Struggle icon John Nkadimeng dies

Struggle icon John Nkadimeng dies

John Nkadimeng

As the leader of Sactu, Nkadimeng worked tirelessly for the ideal of worker unity in a single national federation. The ANC has announced the passing of Isithwalandwe/Seaparankwe John Nkadimeng, who celebrated his 93rd birthday in June.

Isithwalandwe/Seaparankwe is the country’s highest honour awarded to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the liberation struggle.

In a statement, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party had needed Nkadimeng now more than ever as it seeks to reassert its values and morality, to chart the course for a new dawn of leadership of South African society.

“Ntate Nkadimeng was awarded the Order of Luthuli in Gold for dedicating his entire adult life to the struggle for liberation, workers’ rights, and for the formation of a united federation of trade unions.”

Nkadimeng was last seen publicly when President Cyril Ramaphosa and the top six visited his home to award him the party’s highest honour in April 2019.

He was widely known for being an instrumental figure in the foundation of trade union federation, Cosatu.


Pule said Nkadimeng became general-secretary of the then underground South African Congress of Trade Unions (Sactu) in 1983 and remained committed to the trade union movement until his last breath.

As the leader of Sactu, Nkadimeng worked tirelessly for the ideal of worker unity in a single national federation.

He was later detained during the Defiance Campaign in 1952 and was one of the 156 congress activists charged with treason in the 1956 Treason Trial.

“In memory of Ntate Nkadimeng and in carrying forward the legacy he leaves behind, we must recommit ourselves to a united and sustained action in response to the challenges that confront our nation.

“His selfless and courageous life, personified by the exceptional conduct of his generation of freedom fighters, is worth emulating.”The ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to his family, the entire democratic movement, and all freedom-loving people of the world. We wish them strength and fortitude in this moment of grief,” he said.

-The Citizen

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