|Birth:||12 February 1912|
Thaba 'Nchu, Free State, South Africa
|Death:||31 January 2021|
Diepkloof, Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa
|Age:||108 years, 354 days|
Rebecca Kotane (née Selutle; 12 February 1912 – 31 January 2021) was a South African centenarian who was one of the oldest living people in South Africa at time of her death. She was the widow of South African politician and activist Moses Kotane.
Rebecca Seditle was born in Thaba 'Nchu, Free State, South Africa on 12 February 1912. She had at least one sister: Mirriam.
She was working as a maid when she met her future husband Moses. She married Moses Kotane in 1945. The couple had five children (including the ambassador Sam Kotane).
Kotane took part in the defiance campaigns in the 1950s and mobilisation towards the adoption of the Freedom Charter in 1955.
In the 9 August 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings, in which she took part, she was among the women detained by the apartheid regime. Detained for two weeks, Kotane shared a cell with other stalwarts of our movement, including Albertina Sisulu, Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi, Amina Cachalia, Violet Wynberg and others. In detention, they were gravely mistreated and humiliated by the apartheid regime’s authorities, intending to break their revolutionary spirits and discourage them from continuing with the struggle. At some point the apartheid regime even enticed Kotane with a mansion and urged her to divorce her husband, Moses Kotane, long-time SACP General Secretary, and turn against the movement. Kotane stood her ground and never betrayed her revolutionary principles.
She last saw her husband in 1963 when he went to exile in Tanzania. This followed relentless house raids, arrests, threats and acts of victimisation by the apartheid regime, which intensified especially after the enactment in 1950 of the Suppression of Communism Act and the state of emergency in 1960. Even after the death of Kotane in May 1978, Kotane persisted in the fight for liberation.
Rebecca Kotane died at her home in Diepkloof, Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa on 31 January 2021 at the age of 108 years, 354 days, a few days before her 109th birthday.
- Deputy President Motlanthe attends the 100th birthday celebration of Ma-Rebecca Kotane GovernmentZA (YouTube), 15 February 2012
- President Jacob Zuma assists Mrs Rebecca Kotane, wife of late ANC leader Moses Kotane, to cut her 102nd birthday cake The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa (Facebook), 12 February 2014
- Moses Kotane's widow turns 104 IOL, 12 February 2016
- SACP to celebrate 105th birthday of Rebecca Kotane IOL, 12 February 2017
- Happy Birthday To Mama Rebecca Kotane on her 106th birthday Uncensored Opinion, 12 February 2018
- Mama Rebecca Kotane in celebrating her 107th birthday David Makhura (Twitter), 12 February 2019
- SACP celebrates the 107th birthday of Cde Rebecca Kotane Polity.org.za, 12 February 2019
- Rebecca Kotane passes away SABC News, 1 February 2021
- Defiance Campaign's Rebecca Kotane dies a few days before her 109th birthday TimesLIVE, 2 February 2021
- SACP mourns the passing away of Comrade Rebecca Kotane SACP