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Amb John K Nkadimeng (1925 - )

The Order of Luthuli in

Amb John K Nkadimeng (1925 - ) Awarded for:
Dedicating his entire adult life to the struggle for liberation, workers’ rights and for the formation of a united federation of trade unions.

Profile of Amb John K Nkadimeng

John Nkadimeng was born in 1925, in Sekhukhuniland, Limpopo, where he completed his primary school education before moving to Gauteng.

A shop steward with the African Tobacco Workers' Union in 1949, he became General Secretary of the underground South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) in 1983 and, although today the Ambassador to the People's Republic of Cuba, remains committed to the trade union movement.

Nkadimeng was detained during the Defiance Campaign in 1952 and was one of the 156 Congress activists charged with treason in the 1956 Treason Trial.

In 1963, during yet another bout of detention, Nkadimeng was issued with a banning order. This order remained in effect right up to the time he fled the country in July 1976.

Nkadimeng continued to work in the liberation movement in exile. He served on the ANC's political and military council and was chairperson of the ANC’s political committee.

As the leader of SACTU, Nkadimeng worked tirelessly for the ideal of worker unity in a single national federation. He helped realise the formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).