Sponsor Vhonani Mufamadi (front with Mr Kone, Mmbengeni's father, in wheelchair) with the Kone family during the launch of the centre at Tshisahulu. Standing third from right is Thovhele Makumbane.
The name of Mmbengeni Kone, a fallen MK combatant, who was killed by the erstwhile security police in the early eighties, was immortalised at the weekend by his community, Tshisahulu.
This follows the renaming of a sport centre after him at the village. The Mmbengeni Kone Sports Complex, as it will henceforth be called, was launched during an event where a life- sized statue of him was also unveiled.
A new unique artificial soccer pitch, which drains water that is processed into drinking-quality water, was also officially opened. The waste water from the process is reused for irrigation at the centre.
The function, held at a community hall next to the complex, was attended by the Kone family, Thovhele Thivhulawi Makumbane, an activist himself, veterans of the struggle, among them Dr Tshenuwani Farisani, Rev Zwoitwaho Nevhutalu, and Mmbengeni's former commander, Mmbulaheni Malada, known as Dambuza.
The complex, worth around R6 million so far, is an initiative of businessman Vhonani Mufamadi of the Muvoni Group of Companies, together with Dreamfields Projects and Green Source. It was officially handed over to Thovhele Thivhulawi Makumbane and Maandangaupfana Community Association during the event.
Speaking during the ceremony, Thovhele Makumbane said he was very happy that, apart from the fact that his community would benefit from the use of the facility, the name of Kone had been immortalized. "We are very excited that at long last some people thought of this fallen hero. Kone paid the ultimate price, because he had a vision that this country would one day be free. We are now enjoying the fruits of his selfless sacrifice."
Kone's sibling, Thabiso Chaka Ramela, thanked the sponsors for having thought of their brother. "We loved our brother so much and when he was killed we couldn't give him the dignified funeral he deserved because of the restrictions imposed by the government of the day. His dignity is finally restored today, and we are very happy and grateful for what the community and especially the sponsors did for us," she said.
Sponsor Vhonani Mufamadi said the centre would nurture the dreams of the youth in the village. "We still have plans for further development within this centre. Not long from now, we will be embarking on the next phase, to build a library that will nurture another of Mmbengeni's wishes - a culture of learning within the community," he said.
Date:17 June 2017 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.