Reverend James Calata honoured

JUNE 23, 2015

The Eastern Cape Provincial government on Monday unveiled tombstones for the late former ANC Secretary-General, Reverend James Calata, and his wife, Marry, at Lingelihle Township in Cradock. The unveiling happened exactly 120 years to the day Calata was born.

Calata, who became the ANC's Secretary-General between 1936 and 1949, was among the 156 people in the 1956 Treason Trial. He also had a hand in the drafting of the Freedom Charter.

The unveiling of Calata's tombstone comes after a weekend-long commemoration programme which saw some ANC and government leaders interacting with the youth through sports and political lectures. The ANC said it wants to keep the name of Calata alive, so that the future generation can learn about his leadership and contribution.

Eastern Cape Premier, Premier, Phumulo Masualle, told attendees that civil servants should draw inspiration from the values of Calata, whom he described as a selfless leader and a unifier.

"We celebrate his life particularly as a person who is concerned about development, particularly education cultural development of our people as well. Political organisation of the African National Congress, we have come here to cement that relationship and build on it going forward." 

The ANC says it will continue making the Calata commemoration an annual event.