Motlanthe praises 'good listener' Laloo Chiba

2017-12-09 19:18
Kgalema Motlanthe, former president and member of the ANC's John Nkadimeng branch in Houghton. Picture: Dudu Zitha

Kgalema Motlanthe, former president and member of the ANC's John Nkadimeng branch in Houghton. Picture: Dudu Zitha

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Johannesburg - The young people of the ANC have new role models and have absolutely no time to listen to the likes of Laloo Chiba, former president Kgalema Motlanthe said at the stalwart’s funeral on Saturday afternoon.

Chiba, 87, who died on Friday, was a board member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and a former Robben Island prisoner.

He died at his home in Lenasia.

Chiba - a former Umkhonto we Sizwe platoon commander - was jailed in the Robben Island prison's B-Section, alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, among other prominent freedom fighters.

He was elected as a member of parliament in the first and second democratic elections in 1994 and 1999.

Motlanthe said Chiba had a "forensic mind", because he could interrogate difficult and complex issues.

“He had a very sharp mind and yet he was so humble. He was always prepared to engage and to listen. He was a very good listener, something which is in short supply these days,” said Motlanthe, who concluded by saying: “I hope we will always try to see beauty in others and not in ourselves.”

Gauteng Premier David Makhura also sent his condolences to the Chiba family.

Makhura said he had visited Chiba at his home on Wednesday after he was discharged from hospital.

"His impact on our revolution was profound. His name is synonymous with discipline and leadership through the powerful force of example. He was a gracious, self-effacing and compassionate comrade," Makhura said.

Parliament said in a statement on Saturday, the passing of Chiba left a painful void and should serve as a reminder that the country should rededicate itself to the ideals for which they stood for.

Chiba is survived by his wife Luxmi, and his three daughters and grandchildren.

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