ANC struggle stalwart, trade unionist Lillian Diedericks laid to rest

Reading Time: 2 minutes

African National Congress (ANC) struggle stalwart and trade unionist, Lillian Diedericks, has been laid to rest after a service at the Methodist Church in Gqeberha. Diedericks was part of the group of women that marched to the Union Buildings 65-years-ago, to demand an end to the pass laws.

She was also a founding member of the Federation of South African Women.

Eastern Cape premier, Oscar Mabuyane, delivered the eulogy during the funeral.

It was a bitter-sweet day for mama Lillian’s loved ones, as she was laid to rest in Gqeberha. Many speakers at her funeral described her as courageous, for the role she played during the brutal apartheid era. Her wisdom, fortitude, and steadfast loyalty was recognised.

Mabuyane says having women occupying top positions in the metro is proof that what she fought for is being realised.

“As the provincial government, we wish to convey our deepest sympathies to the family, as this our of grief. Mama fought a good fight and we are forever indebted to her. For her contribution to the struggle for freedom and the building of our democratic nation. Mama Lilly, like many of her generation, was never a careerist but a devoted servant of our people. Deeply rooted in servant leadership, selflessness, rarely witnessed among our ranks today. Our proud liberation movement is poorer without her.”

To her family, she was a pillar of strength and held in the highest esteem. Her daughter, Eugene Plaatjies, says her mother was her voice of reason.

“The thing that stands out is that she was undoubtedly the queen of our family. Doesn’t matter what decision you made, you ran it past her. But later on with adulthood, you’d do your own thing. She would either give a stamp of approval or a stamp of disapproval.”

Her commitment to people has earned her praise. Parliament House Chair Cedric Frolic, says she never stopped working for a better South Africa.

“Ever since she started retreating out of active politics, she served a moral compass for the ANC and for its members and was never afraid to raise her view, very sharply, very straight forward and fearless, she would not take no for an answer.”

She leaves behind her daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

ANC struggle stalwart and trade unionist, Lillian Diedericks laid to rest: