John Nkadimeng has passed away - SACP

Party conveys its message of profound condolences to family

SACP conveys its message of profound condolences to the family of the Party’s stalwart, Comrade John Nkadimeng

The South African Communist Party (SACP) conveys its message of sincere condolences to the family of Comrade John Nkadimeng as well as to the working class and our national liberation and progressive trade union movement for the great loss encountered with the death of Comrade John Nkadimeng.

Ntate Nkadimeng passed away in Johannesburg on Thursday morning, 6 August 2020. He was born in 1925.

South Africa has been deprived of a selfless hero and will be poorer without Comrade John Nkadimeng and his invaluable contribution. Our heartfelt condolences also go to the people of South Africa as a whole.

In memory of the fine revolutionary, the SACP calls upon the working-class and the progressive trade movement to unite and fight corruption to the finish.

It is through maximum unity and revolutionary discipline that the working class will also overcome the coronavirus pandemic, in memory of the frontline workers who passed away saving others’ lives and those who remain dedicated in the service to the people.

Further, it is through maximum unity and revolutionary discipline that the working class will advance successful struggles to overcome the chronic crisis that the Covid-19 pandemic is deepening – the high levels of inequality, unemployment, poverty and unequal development.

Furthermore, It is through maximum unity and revolutionary discipline that the working class will uproot racism and patriarchy and bring gender-based violence to an end.

The success of our country’s democratic transition also lies in a victory against state capture, old and new, including covidpreneurs, and in a victory against other forms of corruption and looting.  

The SACP will deepen its programme to build a popular Left front, and a widest possible patriotic front, to tackle neoliberalism and the threat of the imperialist forces that seek to use the sphere of finance and other weak links in our post-apartheid dispensation to usurp our democratic national sovereignty.

The working class must triumph. This will be the best way to secure and deepen Ntate Nkadimeng’s revolutionary legacy.

Comrade John Nkadimeng served as a member of the SACP Interim Leadership that spearheaded the establishment of the Party’s structures following our hard-won unbanning in 1990. Before then, he served as a member of the SACP Central Committee when the Party operated in exile and on the underground front in South Africa, buttressing mass mobilisation to dismantle the apartheid regime.

Comrade Nkadimeng was a trade unionist of note. He fought for workers’ rights and universal emancipation. He served as an organiser of the Council of Non-European Trade Unions in the former Transvaal (now Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North-West provinces). During that period, in the 1950s, he became a member of the South African Congress of Trade Unions’ (SACTU’s) leadership.

SACTU formed part of the Congress Alliance that organised the Congress of the People in 1955, with the SACP active on the underground front and openly through its undisclosed members and leaders in the Congress Alliance formations.

In the years leading up to the Congress of the People, Comrade Nkadimeng took part in the 1952 Defiance Campaign. A year after the Congress of the People adopted the Freedom Charter, he and 155 other stalwarts of the South African liberation struggle were charged with treason. 

Regardless of the harassment by the apartheid regime, including the arrests that he faced, Comrade Nkadimeng continued with the struggle to overthrow the apartheid regime.

Comrade Flag Boshielo, a communist stalwart, member and commander of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) who motivated Comrade John Nkadimeng to join the ANC in 1950, disappeared in 1972 on his way to South Africa, from Zambia. The details of Comrade Boshielo’s disappearance are still unknown and require a thorough investigation in honour of Ntate Nkadimeng, his great friend and comrade.

The stalwarts of our struggle for liberation and social emancipation were constantly targeted and harassed by the apartheid regime. In 1964, Comrade John Nkadimeng experienced one of his numerous arrests. He was sentenced to imprisonment and released in 1966 with banning orders and restrictions imposed on him. He finally left the country in 1976 after the heroic 16th June youth uprisings against apartheid. 

Comrade John Nkadimeng ascended to the responsibility of SACTU’s General Secretary in 1983 and was involved in the process that led to the formation of Cosatu.  Throughout his activism, he laboured selflessly for the unity of organised workers and for the unionisation of unorganised workers.

At its 11th National Congress held in 2002, the SACP conferred upon Ntate Nkadimeng, an internationalist of note, the Moses Kotane Award for outstanding service to the Communist Party and the working class.

In 2018, the government conferred on the prominent leader the Order of Luthuli in Gold for ‘Dedicating his entire adult life to the struggle for liberation, workers’ rights and for the formation of a united federation of trade unions’.

The ANC bestowed its highest honour of Isithwalandwe/Seaparankwe to the veteran of the South African struggle in 2019.

Statement issued by the SACP, 7 August 2020