The South African government will continue to honour military veterans for their contribution to the establishment of a constitutional democracy in the country President Jacob Zuma, also SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Commander-in-Chief, said.
Speaking at the funeral of retired Lieutenant General Lambert Moloi in Thaba Tshwane he told mourners the primary mission of all military veterans had been to achieve a united, democratic, non-sexist, non-racial and prosperous society.
“That work must continue in earnest in their memory. We have consolidated democracy and scored a lot of achievements in 20 years as South Africans working together, but our work in not completed,” SANews reported him as saying.
Moloi who died late last month at the age of 81 joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1962 and was part of its military headquarters where he worked alongside ANC leaders including Oliver Tambo, Joe Slovo and Chief of Operations, Chris Hani.
Zuma said in being among the early recruits of MK who skipped the country for military training in 1962, Moloi proved to be a selfless and courageous young man.
“We will remember his patience with soldiers who were at times anxious and unsure of what was expected of them during the difficult integration process.
“We will always remember him as a distinguished South African who loved this country and his organisation, the ANC, more than anything else”.
Moloi became a dependable soldier and cadre, at the best and the worst of times, the President said.
In memory of former President Nelson Mandela, Moloi, Oliver Tambo and many other national heroes and heroines, South Africans should continue to build a united country, in which every citizen feels a sense of belonging and in which they have hope for a better future. South Africans needed to promote unity across the barriers of race, colour, creed or class Zuma said during the memorial service in the Thaba Tshwane town hall.
Transformation of the economy was General Moloi’s passion, said Zuma adding every South African had a duty to take this mission forward.
“He served in many private sector institutions as he believed that economic emancipation should be an integral part of our political freedom.”
Moloi was a former Chief of the SANDF Service Corps and was last year named as a member of the Defence Service Commission, created to look after and improve service conditions of South Africa’s soldiers. At the time of publication no replacement had yet been named for him on the Commission.