Struggle stalwart, Moses Kotane was on Saturday given a hero’s send off at his reburial in Pella, North West.

Speaking at the funeral, President Jacob Zuma called Kotane a hero, “one of the finest organic intellectuals this country has ever seen”.

“Today comrade Moses Kotane has finally come home to his resting place. We are honoured and privileged to give him the send-off he deserves,” Zuma said to the thousands gathered at reburial.

Also present at the reburial was Kotane’s wife, Rebecca and dignitaries like deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, former president Kgalema Motlanthe, and African National Congress (ANC) General Secretary, Gwede Manthatshe.

Kotane’s remains were brought back from Russia where he died while in exile in 1978.

Kotane was a member of the ANC and SA Communist Party (SACP) in their founding years.

Thousands from his community, including school children and pensioners gathered at the Pella Sports ground to pay tribute to their local hero.

“He gave his whole life to the struggle for freedom, justice and equality. He participated in shaping the freedom charter,” Zuma said of Kotane.

He was a hard worker which earned him the position of leadership. Through him we want to inspire our youth.

Zuma said everyone in the country, especially the youth could learn a great deal from Kotane.

“He was a hard worker which earned him the position of leadership. Through him we want to inspire our youth.”

He stressed that every South African has to know who Kotane is and what he did. “Everyone in South Africa must know about ntate Kotane, all our people, black and white must know that this country produced more than Nelson Mandela.”

Many others joined Zuma in praising Kotane. President of Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), Sdumo Dlamini, said Kotane was the kind of leader who was able to “walk with the masses but still be a step ahead”.

Dlamini told those gathered at the reburial that they were building a Cosatu that would make Kotane proud.

Family friend, Wesi Seokoe praised Kotane, not only for his great leadership qualities but also how he was with his children and

– By Mamaponya Motsai