The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] mourns the passing of Ntate John Nkadimeng who was a veteran of our liberation struggle, former ambassador to the Republic of Cuba and a champion of workers’ rights.

He became a shop steward of the African Tobacco Workers’ Union in 1949 and subsequently became General Secretary of the underground South African Congress of Trade Unions [SACTU] in 1983. While at the helm of the leadership of SACTU he dedicated his life to building the unity of workers and to organise them under a single national federation.

Ntate Nkadimeng played an instrumental role in the foundation of our federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions [COSATU] and was also one of the 156 activists who were charged with treason in the 1956 Treason Trial. He fled the country in July 1976 and while in exile he served on the African National Congress [ANC] political and military council and was also chairperson of the ANC’s political committee.

He was awarded the Order of Luthuli in Gold for dedicating his entire adult life to the struggle for liberation, workers’ rights and for the formation of a united federation of trade unions. He also participated in international workers struggles including leading the revolutionary World Federation of Trade Unions [WFTU].

As NEHAWU, we dip our banner in honour of this fallen, dedicated cadre of our movement, a revolutionary and an unassuming leader who served workers with diligence and selflessness. We are deeply saddened by his death and want to take this opportunity to convey deep and heartfelt condolences to his family, his comrades and friends.

Lala Ngoxolo Comrade John, indima yakho uyidlalile, The Struggle Continues!!!

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: