Former Gauteng transport MEC Khabisi Mosunkutu has been remembered as a dedicated man, who committed his life to the provision of basic services.
Mosunkutu was honoured during a special official provincial funeral at the Zoe Bible Church in Pimville, Soweto, on Thursday.
The former MEC died on Christmas Eve, aged 69. His family said he had been ill for a number of years.
Hundreds of people – including Gauteng Premier David Makhura, ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile and former Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo – gathered in Soweto to say their final farewells.
Mosunkutu's wife, Nonqaba – in a tribute read out by Rajohana Matshidiso – recalled how she had fallen in love with him the very first time she saw him in 1970.
She said her husband had an "amazing ability to point out the silver lining in the darkest clouds".
"Never more will I ever see your trademark smile, feeling your strong and firm embrace," Nonqaba said.
'Uncompromising freedom fighter'
She also remembered her husband as an "uncompromising freedom fighter".
"My love, you kept on telling me that you did not join the struggle, but you responded to a clarion call at a juncture of time. You kept on telling me that your movement owes no one anything, but all of us owe our movement a great deal of debt."
Mosunkutu's daughter, Queen Hlahane, fondly recalled how he would help her with her homework.
She told the mourners of how he would laugh when she called him a "sell-out" for understanding Afrikaans, before going on to explain the history of the language while helping her with her school work.
Ralph Jones, secretary of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said that, as transport MEC, Mosunkutu had played an important role in brokering peace in the taxi industry during violent turf wars in the early 2000s.
"All hell broke loose when he was removed as MEC, because he added value and wasn't afraid," Jones told the gathered crowd.
Mosunkutu's coffin was draped in the ANC flag as it was carried into the church by members of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA). The ANC flag was later handed to Mosunkutu's family.
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