Tribute by the Secretary General of the African National Congress Cde Ace Magashule, During the occasion of the exhumation of the mortal remains of the late president of the ANC Transvaal province, Cde Elias Phakane Moretsele, held at Nancefield graveside, Soweto.
We take the opportunity of this great historic moment, on behalf of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, to convey our sincere heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and relatives of our late President, Cde Elias Phakane Moretsele.
We convey our condolences to the people of the great region of Sekhukhune, the people of the province of Limpopo, the people of the province of Gauteng, the people of our country and the whole world.
Lehono re swere naka la tshukudu re letsa phalaphala, re horosa mogale wa bagale, Ngwaketsi a Hlabirwa a mogale, eleng yena Phakane Elias Moretsele, morwa wa Manyathi Sarah Moretsele le Kgoana James Moretsele. Re ra sebata sa ntwa ya tokologo, morwa a Pheladi a Mogale.
E leng yena ngwaketse a mogale, yena a tswang Mashisha a magolo a mannyape a Hlabirwa. Maja thepe ka ntjane, maila selele. Ga bo rena ga Moretsele a Mashego, ga se kgolele. Re hloka baishi, re hloka di tlogolwana tsa go re isha. Ke ngwana wa Kgoana, o hlabile kgoadi, o hlabile thamaga, o hlabile kgoana tlapeng la molototsi.
Before us today, lays the mortal remains of one of the towering giants of our national liberation movement, a great servant of mankind, who belongs to the ages of man to come, Cde President Elias Phakane Moretsele. Today we are taking home, to its final resting place, the mortal remains of one of our most outstanding heroic sons, the heartbeat of Sebatakgomo and the nucleus of Makhuthamaga.
His mortal remains will be laid to rest on the 24th of November 2018 at Moretsele village, Sekhukhune region, in Limpopo province. A rural village where his umbilical cord was cut into the theatre of our struggle.
His must not just be a reburial, but a momentous occasion to establish the landmarks of our history. His graveside must be turned into a monument which will be a pilgrimage to all of mankind who wants to understand the history of the struggle of our people.
To understand President Moretsele we have to immense ourselves with the rich history of the region of Sekhukhune where he was born in the year 1897. The land of warrior Kings which imbued with his abiding passion to lead the forefront trenches of our struggle for the emancipation of the people of our country.
Sekhukhuneland is synonymous with the history of the struggle of our people Sebatakgomo. The land of Kgosigadi Madinoge, Flag Boshielo, Elias Motswaledi, Peter Nchabeleng, John Phala, John Nkadimeng, Lawrence Phokanoka, Phooko Ratsoma, Segowe Awolo Rapolai, Nelson Diale and many of our unsung heroes and heroines of our struggle.
The biography of a single individual can in no way be separated from the biography of the previous and the contemporary individuals. Indeed it is determined by them.
Vladimir Lenin never knew Karl Marx, he was still very young when Marx died, and was brought in a completely different world material conditions. But he was able to reshape the legacy of Marx and become part of the extended legacy of Marxist Leninism.
With President Moretsele, his legacy is that of organizing and mobilization for the construction of a non racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous society. The legacy which our present generation is taking forward into a new trajectory of a radical socio economic transformation.
The ideas that Moretsele was fighting for are the ideas that today rule society. We therefore need not make the generations of mankind to forget the role played by this gigantic son of our movement.
In a speech delivered at the funeral service of Karl Marx, his friend Frederick Engles declared that’, His name will live on through centuries and so will his work.
Today as we prepare to lay the remains of this heroic revolutionary son of our soil, we so again in the words of Frederick Engels, declare that his name will live through centuries and so will his work.
During the provincial conference of the ANC which was held in Orlando from the 8th to 10th of October 1955, one of the leaders of the ANC at the time, who later became part of the group to form the Pan African Congress, Potlako Leballo, attacked members of the Communist party accusing them of bringing foreign ideology within the ranks of the ANC and called for the return of the policy of Africa for the Africans.
In his response to this important theoretical debate which was dividing the plenary session of the conference, Phakane Moretsele stood and said the following profound words.
We know that there are men and women in the ANC who were in the Communist party before it was dissolved by the racist government, most of them are hardworking, sincere members who abide loyalty by their contribution to further the aims of the African National Congress. As long as they continue to do so they are welcomed and they have every right to be with us”.
During his Presidential address to the annual provincial conference of the ANC of the Transvaal in 1956, he said the following”
I have been a member of the Congress for more than thirty years, and I have seen it fighting many battles and winning important victories. I am confident that on the basis of the freedom charter the democratic forces will defeat the forces of reaction”.
Today we are still confidently and inspired by his words of wisdom that the forces of our revolution will always triumph over the forces of reaction. With the unity of the leadership of the ANC and our people we shall triumph over the forces of reaction.
With his undying revolutionary spirit, we are confident that the ANC will win an overwhelming majority during the forthcoming national general elections. With his undying revolutionary spirit, we shall continue with our revolutionary work for the radical transformation of our country.
Again, on behalf of the leadership and the membership of the ANC across the breath and the length of our country, we express our sincere heartfelt words of comfort to the family, friends and relatives. His contribution to the struggle for the liberation of our country will continue to decorate the beautiful chapters of our history books.
MAY HIS REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT REST IN PEACE