Hon Speaker, the repatriation of liberation struggle icons, JB Marks and Moses Kotane, confirms the commitment of the ANC to the returning of the remains of all struggle heroes, who died on foreign soil, to their families and the people of South Africa.
These two struggle giants of the ANC and the SACP were buried at Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow in 1972 and 1978, respectively. A delegation of the Department of Arts and Culture is expected to return soon from Russia where they had gone to collect the remains of the two struggle stalwarts. The delegation departed for Moscow on Wednesday, 11 February 2015, to wrap up a delayed process to repatriate the remains of Marks and Kotane.
The ANC commends the President for declaring a special official funeral, category one, for both Kotane and Marks whose remains were scheduled to return home on 1 March 2015, from Moscow.
During his first visit to Russia in August 2014, President Zuma discussed the repatriation of South African fallen heroes with his counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, and also laid wreaths at the graves of Kotane and Marks in the capital of Russia.
This commitment by our government follows the successful repatriation of the remains of the renowned journalist, Nat Nakasa, from New York last year. Nakasa was reburied at the Heroes Acre in Chesterville in Durban a few months ago. I thank you. [Applause]