The Order of Luthuli in
Profile of Richard Mothebe “Pharephare” Mothupi
Richard Mothebe “Pharephare” Mothupi was born in 1937 in Mashamba Village in Limpopo. He was an activist who joined forces with other ant-apartheid activists to fight for freedom in this country.
Mothupi grew up during a time when racial discrimination was rife and as soon as he understood its implications, he decided to fight back. He believed he had no choice but to attain his freedom together with the masses that were subjected to all forms of humiliation. He familiarised himself with the policies of the ANC which resonated with him, and decided to join their ranks in the early 1950s.
In 1960, when the ANC and PAC were banned, Mothupi went to Botswana and Zambia for military training. He returned in 1980, and became instrumental in the formation of many civic associations in and around Pretoria townships working along with Atteridgeville and Saulsville residents associations.
He also extended his work to the Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal regions.
Mothupi was instrumental in the formation of the Northern Transvaal Action Committee that resisted the Bantustan system. Among many others, he was actively involved in the establishment of the United Democratic Front, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the Congress of Traditional Leaders in South Africa and the South African Worker’s Union (SAWU).
He was the first volunteer in establishing ANC structures in Limpopo after the unbanning of political parties in 1990 and served as the ANC Lowveld and Mopani Regional Organiser. Since 2004, he has been a dedicated ANC member in the Provincial Legislature.