The Congress of South African Trade Unions mourns the passing away of Mam Rebecca Kotane, one of the unfaltering heroines of our liberation struggle. We send our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.
Mam Kotane was not just married to one of the giants of the South African liberation struggle Comrade Moses Kotane but she was a formidable leader in her own right. She will be remembered for her courage and firm devotion in not just opposing but fighting to dismantle the evil apartheid regime.
She devoted her life to its defeat and went on to outlive it. She is part of a generation that includes Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi, Albertina Sisulu, and others who took on the apartheid regime and exposed it for the cowardly and a criminal system that it was.
These pioneers led from the front and shook the foundations of apartheid when the regime was convinced that its persecution of activists and suppression tactics were going to break the spine of the anti-Apartheid movement. Their courage and defiance kept the struggle against apartheid alive.
She demonstrated this resilience by tirelessly working with COSATU, SACP and the late Cde Edna Molewa to bring back the remains of her husband the late Moses Kotane to SA from Moscow.
The people of South Africa have lost a committed and principled leader. We shall forever remain indebted to her and her family for the sacrifices they made to liberate this country from political oppression. Despite their immense contribution to the struggle for liberation the Kotane family never had a sense of entitlement and have continued to be principled in their behaviour.
The best way to honour and preserve her legacy will be to continue the fight against the growing inequality and deepening poverty that continues to afflict millions of South Africans.
In her name, we shall continue to fearlessly speak out against the perpetuation of apartheid separate development, growing inequality and deepening poverty. We shall honour her by taking the baton forward and championing economic transformation and fighting social injustice.
May Her Soul Rest in Peace!
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (COSATU National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 679