Airport soon to be renamed

2018-06-13 06:01
The Kimberley Airport is expected to be renamed after struggle icon Ulysses Gogi Modise. Photo: Boipelo Mere

The Kimberley Airport is expected to be renamed after struggle icon Ulysses Gogi Modise. Photo: Boipelo Mere

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The Kimberley Airport is to be renamed after the late Kimberley pioneer and struggle icon Ulysses Gogi Modise.

The announcement was made on Tuesday, 5 June, following endorsement by the provincial administration of the Northern Cape and the members of the executive council, led by Premier Sylvia Lucas.

This is part of a process to rename four airports in South Africa in June.

The other airports involved are in Port Elizabeth, East London and Cape Town.

According to the provincial Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the name of Modise was nominated following comprehensive discussions.

Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, lauded Modise as being born and raised in Kimberley, and relentlessly fighting for the emancipation of the citizens of Kimberley and South Africa.

She said honour was owed to the struggle icon for the immense role he had played and said a consensus had been reached in the provincial leg.

“We are encouraging the citizens of the Northern Cape to endorse Modise’s name and support the provincial admini­stration of the Northern Cape to rename the airport after him,” said Mbinqo-Gigaba.

Modise was born as Julius Gogi Kgabegenyane on 23 December 1942 to Johannes and Miriam Saitsiwi Daniels Kgabegenyane in Kimberley.

He took a conscious and voluntary decision to join the ANC and was one of the first youths from Kimberley to skip the country and join the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), where he underwent military training in Lusaka and became part of the Luthuli Detachment in 1967.

Reporting to the late OR Tambo, Modise would go on to sys­tematically perform, engage and lead cover intelligence and counter-intelligence operations exposing spy rings within the movement.

Modise served in the ANC during the times of exile and back home in the democratic ANC-led government.

Between 1976 and 1980, he reportedly served as a member of the Department of National Intelligence and Security Directorate.

He also served in the Department of Intelligence and Security from 1980 to 1983.

In 1981 he served as deputy head of security.

After the 1994 elections, Modise was appointed as the head of Intelligence in the Northern Cape.

In September 1998 he was promoted to coordinator of Intelligence for the Northern Cape, as he was a member of the Eminent Persons Group and was responsible for the formalisation and welfare of the MK Military Veterans in the province.

Modise collated information of the struggle veterans and former MK combatants, including those who had worked in the underground operations of the ANC in the Northern Cape.

He endeavoured to create sustainable economic empowerment ventures for the stalwarts and veterans of the struggle until he passed away on 30 May 2007.

Modise was posthumously honoured for his contribution to the struggle for the liberation of the people of South Africa.

The Order of Mendi was bestowed on him for bravery by former Pres. Jacob Zuma on 28 April 2016.

Mbinqo-Gigaba said there had been a process of public participation in which participants had been expected to submit their proposals at the Kimberley Airport.

This process closed on Wednesday (06/06).



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