So long, true cadre
This week we lost a distinguished freedom fighter in
The year 1994 was the time when most freedom fighters in the liberation movement and their families returned from exile. Those who were fortunate were welcomed by reception parties organised by their organisations and extended families. Vuyisa Qunta and his family were among those gallant heroes and heroines welcomed by the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) and the Qunta family.
The joy and excitement that characterised the homecoming of “Bhuti”, as he was affectionately known, was replaced by a sombre mood in the Qunta household and among Azapo and Azanian National Liberation Army Military Veterans’ Association comrades when they received news of his passing. Qunta passed away on Tuesday. The unexpected loss of such an accomplished revolutionary has left the Qunta family, especially his daughters, Nzinga and Yolisa, without their pillar of strength.
Azapo and its veterans have lost a disciplined comrade and a dedicated and trained soldier – an intellectual, pragmatist, disciplinarian, health and fitness enthusiast, and an organised individual.
Comrade Qunta skipped the country in 1974 and fled to Botswana, where he joined other exiled black consciousness militants. He was a founding member of the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania (BCMA), which was launched in London in 1980.
Because of his gift of the gab, he became the BCMA’s secretary for publicity and information. This position entailed the production of the organisation’s quarterly journal, Solidarity.
In Azapo, we quenched our thirst for knowledge from his educational and thought-provoking articles in the monthly mobilisation publication he edited, Letsetse – The Flea.
After the BCMA-Azapo merger congress in 1996, he became Azapo’s national secretary for publicity and information, a position he served with distinction.
As the incumbent in that position, I am privileged to have benefited from this fountain of knowledge – a humble man of the people.
His knowledge was encyclopaedic, he had a razorsharp mind and was an accomplished wordsmith.
Bhuti’s love for sport and reading were almost contagious. To this end, he co-authored two books: 1891-2003: 112 Years of Springbok Rugby – Tests and Heroes; and The Badge.
These books will continue to serve as testimony of his prowess as a wordsmith.
Vuyisa Bhuti Qunta would like us to remember him as a true patriot.
In an interview last year, Bhuti said: “I would like to be remembered as someone who gave a lot to heal and grow my country, my community and my family, in that order.”
Lala ngoxolo Mbongwe!
FALLEN HERO Vuyisa Qunta