Struggle icon Andrew Mlangeni has been laid to rest next to his wife, June Mlangeni, at the Roodepoort Cemetery in Dobsonville, Soweto, today.

He died last Tuesday at the age of 95.

Earlier, President Cyril Ramaphosa and a handful of his family members attended his funeral service at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus.

In the video below, Andrew Mlangeni is laid to rest:

Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy while former President Thabo Mbeki paid a virtual tribute as a veteran and family friend.

“We say today may your soul rest in peace. Hamba Kahle Umkhonto, Tsamaya ka Kgotso Motlokwa. We will always remember you,” said Ramaphosa.

It is a final goodbye to a selfless champion of the country’s liberation struggle and President Ramaphosa said his passing marks the end of an era of integrity, selflessness, and servitude.

”His passing marks the end of an era. He belonged to an era of a tireless struggle, of sacrifice and service, of honour and integrity. It was an era of leaders who embodied the best in humanity. But he was also one of the last of an extraordinary generation of freedom fighters. He served his movement and his country loyally for over seven decades. The struggle for freedom and democracy was his life and the freedom that we enjoy is his legacy to us.”

In his memory, Ramaphosa pledged to defeat all the social ills that have come to characterise South Africa’s body politic.

”Let us declare here in honour and memory of Andrew Mlangeni that we will not submit to poverty and inequality. We will not submit to corruption, greed, mismanagement, and complacency, and the abuse of public resources. We have to fight for honest, committed, and capable leaders for democratic institutions that are strong and durable for the rule of law and the realisation of equal rights for all.”

Renewal of ANC a fitting farewell to Mlangeni

For his part, Mbeki, who is also a veteran and family friend, said the renewal of the ANC would be a fitting farewell to Ntate Mlangeni.

”Unless we renew the ANC, indeed as was called for by the 54th National Conference, and I think if we do that this should be a very good farewell to such an outstanding person as Andrew Mlangeni was. Calls have been made that the ANC should convene a Consultative Conference specifically to look at this matter of its renewal. We need the renewal of the ANC so that the ANC can then discharge its responsibility to the people and allow the old man Andrew Mlangeni to rest in peace.”

More power for ANC Integrity Committee

From his Foundation, Malose Kekana, says the best honour for the struggle icon is to give the ANC Integrity Committee that he once chaired, more power to do its job.

” Ntate Mlangeni despite his contributions was not widely recognised, not a street or building at least according to my knowledge are named after him and those things did not matter to him. If you wish to honour the memory of Ntate Mlangeni, I propose that Mr. President you spearhead the change of the ANC constitution to make the Integrity Commission an independent constitutional structure that does not report to the NEC but the conference. These veterans are one of two strong pillars that are holding up our movement , the other pillar is the support we enjoy from our people. ”

Revered for his humility and simplicity, Ntate Mlangeni lived amongst his people in Soweto, and even in death, he is amongst his people – buried at the Roodepoort Cemetery in Dobsonville.