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Ramaphosa describes Maphoto as selfless and courageous

Ramaphosa delivered Maphoto's eulogy at the special official funeral of the stalwart this morning.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered Lesiba Maphoto's eulogy at the special official funeral of the stalwart on 21 July 2019. Picture: Presidency

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa has described Lesiba Maphoto as a person who devoted his life for the liberation of South Africa.

The late struggle veteran who was known as Bra Ike is being laid to rest today in Polokwane.

Ramaphosa delivered Maphoto's eulogy at the special official funeral of the stalwart on Sunday morning.

Maphoto died last week at the age of 88.

He was a member of the African National Congress and its armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Ramaphosa says Maphoto made several sacrifices.

“We’re here today to pay tribute to such a man; a man of distinction, of resolve, of immense courage and of selflessness. A man who devoted his life to the liberation of our people.”

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.

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