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Special official funeral for late struggle veteran Lesiba Maphoto

Lesiba 'Bra Ike' Maphoto passed away on Saturday at the age of 88.

Isaac Lesiba Maphotho. Picture: @VeteransZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The late struggle veteran Lesiba "Bra Ike" Maphoto will be honoured with a special official funeral this Sunday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday afternoon that he would deliver the eulogy at the funeral.

The president has also declared days of mourning from now until Sunday and during that period all flags will fly at half-mast.

Maphoto was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and its armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Maphoto passed away on Saturday at the age of 88.

The Presidency said that he left South Africa in 1961 and underwent military and political training in Beirut and the former Soviet Union.

He then joined Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1963.

Maphoto was arrested by the Rhodesian army when he was fighting in the alliance between the ANC and the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army to establish infiltration routes for liberation forces and released by then-President Robert Mugabe’s government in 1980 after independence.

He received the Order of Luthuli in Silver from former President Thabo Mbeki in 2006 and the Order of Gold for bravery in 2012 from the Department of Military Veterans.

The South African National Defence Force is expected to perform ceremonial elements as part of the funeral proceedings on Sunday.

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