Mlangeni's passing an end of era – Ramaphosa

Speaking at the funeral service of the last Rivonia trialist and African National Congress (ANC) veteran Andrew Mlangeni, President Cyril Ramaphosa described the passing of the 95-year-old as an "end of era".

The service took place at the University of Johannesburg campus in Soweto on Wednesday, 29 July.

"We are sad to have lost our father, but we are also grateful as a nation for God's providence to enable Ntate Mlangeni's to make old bones.

"He belonged to an era of tireless struggle, of sacrifice, service of honor and integrity. It was a era of leaders who embodied the best of humanity. The freedom that we enjoy today is his legacy to us," the President said.

He continued to say: "Ntate Mlangeni paced his life in the hands of the people. He was not a person to be silenced.

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"If his passing does indeed mark the end of an era we must ask ourselves what now. What shall define this era…our era? Will it be an era of adherence to the values of his glorious movement and era of revolutionary ethics?

"This is a question to all of us gathered here. It is through our actions that we will define this era."

Ramaphosa said Mlangeni's passing was a "blow" following the death of veteran South African anti-activist Dennis Goldberg in April at the age of 87.

"They join their comrades, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Oliver Tambo, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi, Walter Sisulu, Albertina Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and many others," he said.

The President further paid tribute to the late wife of Mlangeni, June, who was an women's rights activist.

"It was she who was instrumental in mobilizing women in and around Dube, Soweto to participate the 1954 women's march in the streets of Johannesburg and the famous 1956 women's march," he added.

Continue to watch the burial below:

Mlangeni has passed away at the age of 95 last Tuesday, 21 July, after he was admitted at the 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane, Pretoria, on Tuesday following an abdominal complaint.

Ramaphosa participated in Mlangeni's birthday's celebration in June, among other notable guests, former president Thabo Mbeki, former president Kgalema Motlanthe and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Mlangeni was awarded Isithwalandwe Seaparankwe – the highest honour by the ANC for those who have made an outstanding contribution to the liberation struggle in 1992 – and received the Presidential Order for Meritorious Service: Class 1: Gold from President Nelson Mandela in 1999.

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