The people of Matabeleland South have been reminded to register to vote so that they defend the gains of the country’s hard won independence through the ballot box.

The remarks were made by the Minister of State for Matabeleland South Province Cde Abednico Ncube at the burial of liberation war hero, Cde Frank Tlou Mafela.

Family, friends and veterans of liberation struggle converged at the rural home of the late Cde Mafela in Nhwali Gwanda South to give a befitting send off to the former freedom fighter who died on the 5th of January. 

Cde Mafela was 65.

The death of Cde Mafela has dealt a major blow to the family that depended on him for love, support and guidance said family spokesperson, Mr Frankson Siziba.

Zanu PF Bolobelo district chairman Cde Bonang Mokwena thanked the government for its recognition of former freedom fighters.

The country’s hard won independence can be safeguarded if citizens in the province register to vote and participate in this year’s elections, was the call by the Minister Ncube.

Cde Mafela was born on the 22nd of January 1952 at Manama Hospital.

He did his primary education at Nhwali before working for Panda Mine between 1974 and 1975.

In 1977 he left for Botswana to join the liberation struggle, where he was then moved to Zambia.

In Zambia Cde Mafela whose psuedo name was Ananius Ganyavu was taken to Nampudu Camp for training.

He did his further training at Mlungushi before crossing back into the country to fight the colonial regime.

After independence he was integrated into the Zimbabwe National Army and demobilised in 1982.

In 2008, he was appointed the Bolomelo district war veterans chairman, a post he held until the time of his death.

He is survived by wife Agnes and 7 children.