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A plaque commemorating the memory of anti-apartheid activist Elias Motsoaledi will be unveiled at the clinic named after him in Orlando West.
STRUGGLE hero Elias Motsoaledi is to be honoured by the City of Johannesburg with a plaque at the Elias Motsoaledi Clinic in Soweto.


A street in Soweto is also named after Elias MotsoalediA street in Soweto is also named after Elias MotsoalediIt will be unveiled by Bengeza Mthombeni, the member of the mayoral committee for health, on Friday, 11 March.

The clinic specialises in well baby care, immunisation and family planning; treating sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases; health education; treating chronic diseases; and HIV/Aids testing and counselling.

It began operating from a temporary structure in the grounds of the Meadowlands hostel in August 1995, explains Nkosinathi Nkabinde, the City’s health spokesperson.

It serves the residents of Mzimhlophe, Killarney and the hostel, as well as the wider community of Orlando West, where it is situated. “The clinic sees on average 160 clients a day, and between July 2010 and January of this year, approximately 20 000 people visited the clinic,” adds Nkabinde.

He also spoke about the naming of clinics. “Through the naming of the clinics we are acknowledging those heroes and heroines of our struggle for making the 27 April 1994 democratic breakthrough a reality. We are grateful to all of them for their courage, commitment, guidance and leadership.”

This clinic was named after Motsoaledi to commemorate his contribution to the liberation struggle. He was a life-long member of the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party, and helped to form the Congress of South African Trade Unions, or Cosatu.

He played a pivotal role in the 1952 defiance campaign against unjust laws, and as a result he was banned. He was detained and imprisoned for four months during the 1960 state of emergency, whereafter he went underground and joined the Johannesburg regional branch of Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Motsoaledi was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to life imprisonment along with Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and others in the Rivonia Trial. Motsoaledi spent 26 years in prison on Robben Island; he was released from the island in 1989. He was elected to the national executive committee of the ANC on his release and the party bestowed on him with the Isithwalandwe Medal in 1992.

He died on the day Mandela was inaugurated as the president of the newly democratic South Africa, on 9 May 1994, but his legacy lives on through naming streets, clinics and a municipality after him. A representative of the Motsoaledi family will attend the plaque unveiling ceremony, which will take place at 10am.

Elias Motsoaledi Clinic is at 13 149 Carr Street, Mzimhlophe, Soweto and is open between 8am and 4.30pm from Monday to Friday.

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