Simon Tseko Nkoli  

Simon Tseko Nkoli
Simon lived bravely with HIV/AIDS
for more than 13 years.
He died on November 30, 1998

Shortly after the publication of our Rundbrief 9 we learned of the death of

Simon Tseko Nkoli, on the eve of World Aids Day. For more than 13 years Simon had lived bravely with HIV/AIDS.

Simon was a  fighter for freedom and justice for all – fearless champion against prejudice and despair - respected leader of lesbian, gay and transgender women and men. Anti Apartheid activist, Gay and Lesbian rights activist and HIV/AIDS activist, he was dared to declare his sexual orientation and his HIV status at a time when few were prepared to do so. He defied the notion that being gay is unAfrican.

Simon played and important role in putting Lesbian and Gay issues on the agenda of the African National Congress (ANC). Simon was a defendant in the Delmas "conspiracy" trial and  was jailed for treason for three years in the mid-1980s. In an interview, he explained: "It was because of my previous political involvement. I was involved in anti-apartheid organizations and demonstrated against unjust laws such as detention without trial, inferior education and the increased rents. I was held under Section 29 of the Internal Security Act."
As a founding member, of both GLOW and the NCGLE, Simon played an important role in ensuring that equality for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender persons has been included in the South African Constitution as an unalienable right. He was locally and internationally loved, and respected for his fearless personal struggle for the liberation of his fellow men and women; whether from the indignity and scars of apartheid, from ignorance and homophobia, from fear and misunderstanding about  HIV/AIDS, Simon's life celebrated hope, survival and a deep seated conviction that creating a world without prejudice is a duty for every human being.
Premier Popo Molefe (of the North West Province) and Patrick Lekota (National Chairperson of the  African National Congress) who were Simon's fellow defendants during the Delmas Treason Trial spoke at his funeral.

Colin de la Motte-Sherman
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