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ANC pays tribute to late stalwart Manthata who died after contracting COVID

The former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission succumbed to the virus on Friday night at the One Military Hospital in Pretoria.

FILE: An ANC flag. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Tributes have poured in for struggle stalwart Thomas Manthata who died at the age of 80 after contracting COVID-19.

The former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission succumbed to the virus on Friday night at the One Military Hospital in Pretoria.

Praised for his unwavering commitment to South Africa’s reform, Manthata has been hailed as a struggle icon.

Described as a loyal and dedicated veteran to the liberation movement, Manthata was actively involved in opposition politics throughout his life and was detained several times, spending six years in prison.

In the early 1970s, he facilitated contact between Soweto students and older black consciousness activists who came to schools as tutors, teachers and speakers.

The African National Congress’ Pule Mabe said as an educator, Manthata played a vital role in shaping many of South Africa’s current leaders and its new democracy.

“We mourn the passing of this stalwart and veteran of our movement who remained loyal to the struggle of our people up to his last day. He contributed enormously to the downfall of apartheid and was dedicated to our new democracy.”

Manthata was also a founding member of the Azanian People's Organisation and served on the South African Human Rights Commission.

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