South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday praised fallen struggle icon John Nkadimeng for his integrity and desire to serve his nation without asking for anything in return.
Ramaphosa said this during his eulogy for the struggle stalwart who was laid to rest on Friday following his death last week.
Nkadimeng was among the 156 activists detained during the Defiance Campaign in 1952 and charged with treason.
Ramaphosa said Nkadimeng, aged 93, had lived an exemplary life whose purpose was to serve his people and the country without looting its resources as it is happening now in the government.
He called on his compatriots to work together to rid the country of “cronyism and corruption” in honour of Nkadimeng.
“Day by day we learn more about actions of thieving, looting and corruption,” Ramaphosa said, slamming those he said used their access to political power to enrich themselves.
He added: “Day by day the trust and the confidence of our people is being eroded, leading many to proclaim that the days of ethical and selfless leadership are behind us.”
The South African leader expressed fear that should corruption in the country continue at its current rate, with more integrity leaders like Nkadimeng being lost, there was a real risk of destroying the gains the freedom struggle fighter’s generation had secured.
“Their sacrifices must not be in vain. We must firmly tackle and take back the reins from those out to destroy our country now more than ever before,” he said.