South African’s National Liberation Movement

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ANC Statements


The African National Congress joins the people of Limpopo and the rest of the country in mourning the passing on of Ntate Richard Mothebe “Pharephare” Mothupi, a freedom fighter and veteran of our struggle for national liberation who championed the formation of mass democratic movements, under the wretchedness of the apartheid regime.

In 2013, Ntate “Pharephare” Mothupi was awarded the National Order of Luthuli in Silver for the excellent role he played in pursuing freedom for all South Africans during the liberation struggle and the building of democracy in South Africa.

Ntate Richard Mothebe Mothupi, popularly known as “Pharephare” within the Congress Movement, left his home village of Ga Mamaila Kolobe-toona around 1960, and went into exile to undergo military training.

Ntate “Pharephare” Mothupi had spent over 20 years undergoing military training and an assortment of guerrilla warfare tactics, in various parts of the continent – most of which was in both Botswana and Zambia. Ntate “Pharephare” Mothupi counts amongst the many martyrs of the struggle, who compromised their youth, and joined the liberation struggle to put more pressure on the apartheid regime to halt it atrocious rule over the majority of the people of South Africa.

Upon his return from exile, in 1980, Ntate Pharephare who was also referred to as Poo Pharephare, became instrumental in the ANC’s underground operations, that included the formation of the United Democratic Front (UDF) , South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO), Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa)

Ntate “Pharephare” Mothupi was a knowledgeable revolutionary with a quiet demeanour, and was not the one to seek attention to himself. His contemporaries defined him as a dependable ally, who was always imparting knowledge in his engagements. A good narrator and storyteller, Ntate “Pharephare” Mothupi used every available opportunity to narrate stories of the liberation struggle, and how the Apartheid system used to torment people. Those who know him, say his accounts of the struggle, became even more sharper, after he lost his sight. He was deeply committed to the struggle of the people of South Africa, and for this reason, the ANC in Limpopo saw it befitting to deploy him in the Provincial Legislature, – where he served for a solid 11 years.

The passing on of Ntate “Pharephare” Mothupi, concludes a well lived chapter of a titanic political teacher, under whose tutelage many comrades were bred. He was a larger than life political erudite, who was always surrounded by comrades who wanted to learn about the Congress Movement.

In his last days, Ntate “Pharephare” Mothupi was always preoccupied with the ANC’s capability to transform the lives of the people of this country. He would use every opportunity he had, to remind those in positions of leadership, that ‘being a leader, is about the people, you lead’. Ntate “Pharephare” Mothupi was a colossal both in stature and disposition, and he was unmatched in grooming a marathon of comrades who later led the Mass Democratic Movement in different but important capacities. It is common cause that the ANC will be poorer without the indispensable wisdom and guidance of this paragon of organizational integrity.

We extend our sincere condolences and sympathies to the Mothupi family, their friends and comrades. May they find solace in knowing that their loss is the nation’s loss.

Robala ka khutšo Munyai Mukhalanga


Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson 071 623 4975