Thousands of mourners packed a large marquee at the Port St John’s sports fields to pay their last respects to the late Gauteng economic development MEC, Nkosiphendule Kolisile, who died in a horrific car accident two weeks ago.
He and two of his bodyguards died when their car collided head-on with a truck in the Free State.
Several mourners paid tribute to Kolisile.
Said Phumulo Masualle, ANC Eastern Cape chairperson: “He was truly an outstanding son of the soil and disciplined cadre of the movement, and spoke passionately about challenges of his people … He had profound love for his people.”
Paul Mashatile, ANC chairperson in Gauteng, said Port St John’s should be proud of its son. “It was a young life cut short (in its prime) … We will miss his sharp and critical mind. He represented all that was good about our movement.”
He said he was a cadre of a special type.
“He was a well-rounded and disciplined cadre of the movement. He was exactly what we needed at this stage of our revolution. He was loyal to the movement. He was a communist to the core and ensured the alliance functioned well,” Mashatile said.
SACP Eastern Cape chairperson Mzolile Mrara said Kolisile’s death was a big loss to the people of South Africa. Mrara added that Kolisile was a great man and warrior.
“He was a man of principle, humble, brave and disciplined. He understood the struggle of our people,” he said.
The marquee was draped in ANC colours.
In attendance were ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, labour federation Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, and the premiers of both the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, Noxolo Kiviet and Nomvula Mokonyana.
MECs from both provinces also attended as well as various councillors and mayors of the Eastern Cape.
The service featured several struggle songs.
Kolisile’s government colleagues from both the Eastern Cape and Gauteng took turns to form a guard of honour around his casket.
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