Ramaphosa hands over ANC's highest honours to struggle veteran John Nkadimeng

Fourteen-year-old Otsile Nkadimeng could not contain his excitement when his grandfather, struggle veteran Joe Nkadimeng, was honoured with the ANC's Isitwalandwe/Seaparankwe Award at his home in Johannesburg on Monday morning. 

The young Otsile listened attentively as President Cyril Ramaphosa explained to his grandfather why it was decided that he should receive the ANC's highest honour. 

Nkadimeng, who is widely known for being an instrumental figure in the foundation of trade union federation Cosatu, was also one of the 156 congress activists charged with treason in the 1956 Treason Trial.

To the teenager, his grandfather is a symbol of hope for South Africans.

Speaking to News24 shortly after Ramaphosa handed over the Isitwalandwe regalia in traditional Zulu attire, Otsile said he wanted to thank his grandfather for his contribution to the liberation of the country. He said he placed trust in the ANC to succeed in the future and create leaders like his grandfather. 

"Because of my grandparents, people are allowed to live anywhere. They are allowed to be anyone they want to be and nobody can stop them. This award is a way of the country saying thank you for contribution to this country, we acknowledge it, we treasurer it," he said. 

Ramaphosa told the veteran that he was one of the very few to be bestowed with the top honour. 

Ramaphosa thanked Nkadimeng for his contribution, adding that the ANC still remembered him "most fondly". 

Party secretary general Ace Magashule said they felt it was befitting to go to the veteran's house to formally hand over the award. 

"By coming here, we have come to the fountain of wisdom, we have come to the fountain of inspiration. Once more, we are inspired by leaders of his calibre to further work hard and to make sure we continue building a non-racial, non-sexist united democratic party."

Nkadimeng's daughter Shirley, told Ramaphosa the family fully supported the ANC as the country headed for the May 8 elections. She said her father was reaping the rewards of his contribution to the country. 

"It is very emotional for us, for my mom and father to finally witness something as great as this accolade. It's the few that get bestowed and we really appreciate it. It goes to show the selfless contribution my father has paid off. Now for my dad, it's time to reap the hard work he has put. We wish the ANC the best on May 8. We wish the leaders success and we are behind you," she said.

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