On this day: Late struggle hero Peter Mokaba would have turned 61

On this day: Late struggle hero Peter Mokaba would have turned 61

- Peter Mokaba is known for the huge role he played during the struggle for freedom

- His main fight during apartheid was for the youth

- He was honoured by the government when one of the World Cup stadiums was named after him

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Peter Mokaba was born on this day in 1959. He played a significant role in the struggle for freedom, especially amongst the youth.

He was born under the cruel injustices of the apartheid system which saw his parents, Albert and Priscilla, forcibly removed from their home. They were forced into squatter camps where they survived living as migrant workers.

This traumatic childhood led to Mokaba becoming a leader of the school boycotts in the northern parts of South Africa. After his capture in 1977, he was banned from attending school by authorities. Nevertheless, he completed matric in 1978 and enrolled for tertiary study at The University of the North - modern day University of Limpopo - in 1980.

Interruptions and harassment did not stop him from completing his Masters in Development Management at the University of Witwatersrand.

Mokaba served as an Educational Officer for the Northern Transvaal UDF Regional Youth Coordinating Committee. He was one of the founding members of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO), which led to him being appointed as the congress’ first president in 1987. Since Mokaba was seen as a freedom fighter amongst for the youth, he became the president of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) and occupied this position during the period of 1991 and 1994 after various assassination attempts.

He then served as a Member of Parliament in 1994 as well as in 1999. After his time in parliament, Mokaba was then elected to serve as the deputy minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism under the government of the Nelson Mandela.

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His legacy is honoured by a stadium in Polokwane that was named after him for the 2010 World Cup.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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