Mourners have gathered at the Polokwane cricket stadium for the special official funeral service of struggle stalwart and military veteran Isaac ‘Bra Ike’ Maphoto.

The 88-year-old passed away last weekend after a long illness.

Maphoto will be the first person to be laid to rest at the new heroes acres at Polokwane’s Silicon cemetery in Limpopo.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy.  The funeral programme is being officiated by the South African Defence Force. It includes tributes from the Maphoto family, Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha and struggle veterans.

Mathabatha has thanked the Polokwane and Capricorn municipalities for acceding to the creation of heroes acres.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the executive mayors of both Capricorn municipality and Polokwane municipality for having agreed to our request to dedicate a site at the Silicon cemetery for the burial of our heroes and heroines.”