The African National Congress (ANC) has learned with sadness about the passing of Reverend Oabetswe Johannes (OJ) Tselapedi, one of the most dedicated cadres of our movement and a selfless servant of the people of South Africa. Comrade OJ Tselapedi passed on yesterday following a short illness.

His death marks the end of a revolutionary life that was dedicated to the struggle for peace, justice and freedom. He was a humble, yet fierce opponent of the apartheid regime. The ANC adds its voice to those who say the passing of Comrade OJ Tselapedi has robbed the liberation movement of a dedicated and committed servant who placed the aspirations of the people above his own personal interests. Indeed, the people of the North West have lost one of its finest sons who valued the freedom of his people more than his own life and personal comfort.

History will count Comrade OJ Tselapedi among a number of progressive religious leaders whose faith inspired them to confront oppression and injustice. His steadfast and relentless pursuit for the liberation of South Africa earned him the label of “ANC in church” from the former leader of Bophutatswana Bantustan. He neither wavered nor retreated in the face of harassment and brutal repression from the regime.

He served the ANC in the North West with commitment and dedication in various capacities including as Deputy Chairperson.

Comrade OJ Tselapedi contributed enormously to the downfall of apartheid and was one of the key architects of the new democratic South Africa. Following the democratic elections of 1994, he served in various portfolios in the provincial executive, including as MEC for Transport and Aviation; Agriculture; and Education. He also served as Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature

He placed his life in service of the ANC until his last breath. At the time of his passing, he was an ANC councillor in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality where he chaired the Municipal Public Accounts Committee. His humility, loyalty, selflessness and revolutionary morality are an inspiration to all cadres of our movement.

The ANC conveys its condolences to his family, friends and the entire democratic movement. We wish them strength and fortitude during this difficult time.

May his revolutionary spirit rest in peace and rise in glory.



Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson
071 623 4975

Posted in Media Statements
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