‘True free­dom fighter’, Trevor Bon­homme, dies af­ter can­cer bat­tle


NEWLANDS East res­i­dent and ANC MP Trevor Bon­homme died at the week­end af­ter a bat­tle with bone-mar­row can­cer.

Bon­homme’s younger brother, Vir­gil, said Bon­homme was in hos­pi­tal for the past two weeks and died on Sat­ur­day.

“He had all the sup­port of his fam­ily. He was mar­ried for 56 years and never left the Newlands area. In the 1980s, he was de­tained for about six months for his ac­tivist work.

“He worked for the ANC, even though he did not have a mem­ber­ship card, but when the party was un­banned, he took mem­ber­ship. This is a loss to the fam­ily and the com­mu­nity at large,” he said.

Bon­homme, 75, leaves be­hind his wife, six chil­dren, 13 grand­chil­dren and 14 great-grand­chil­dren. The fu­neral date would be an­nounced soon.

Mdu­miseni Ntuli, ANC pro­vin­cial spokesper­son, said the party was sad­dened by Bon­homme’s death.

“He joined the Strug­gle at an early age and was ac­tive in var­i­ous struc­tures of the ANC un­der­ground, the Mass Demo­cratic Move­ment and the United Demo­cratic Front,” Ntuli said.

“Bon­homme’s core ac­tivist work was within the coloured com­mu­nity in our prov­ince. He was nev­er­the­less an avowed non-racial­ist work­ing to unite our peo­ple and build our coun- try,” he said.

Ntuli said as an ANC MP, Bon­homme main­tained his con­stituency of­fice in Phoenix and served there with great dis­tinc­tion.

“He was ac­tive in com­mit­tees of Par­lia­ment speak­ing out on is­sues as di­verse as rhino poach­ing to child wel­fare, and in de­fence of the poor and vul­ner­a­ble in our so­ci­ety,” Ntuli said.

“His record of at­ten­dance in Par­lia­ment was also highly com­mend­able.

“Com­rade Bon­homme leaves us a pow­er­ful legacy of re­lent­less ac­tivism, spot­less in­tegrity and the high­est or­gan­i­sa­tional dis­ci­pline. We will miss his good hu­mour and con­stant readi­ness to get down to work,” he said.

“The ANC con­veys its deep­est con­do­lences to his fam­ily, rel­a­tives, friends and com­rades in our move­ment.”

Ravi Pil­lay, Hu­man Set­tle­ments MEC, de­scribed Bon­homme as one of the “won­der- ful” and “in­spir­ing” ex­am­ples in the his­tory of the ANC.

“He was a grounded and dy­namic leader who never left his com­mu­nity, even when he joined the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture,” Pil­lay said.

Re­tired judge Thumba Pil­lay said he knew Bon­homme from the 1980s.

“He was in­volved in the big­gest march in Dur­ban, cam­paign­ing for the de­seg­re­ga­tion of beaches in 1989. A day be­fore the march he was de­tained by the se­cu­rity po­lice. That did not stop him from get­ting in­volved with the United Demo­cratic Front. He was a true free­dom fighter,” Pil­lay said.

Fawzia Peer, eThek­wini deputy mayor, said Bon­homme had served the or­gan­i­sa­tion with great dis­tinc­tion.

“He al­ways spoke out in de­fence of the poor and vul­ner­a­ble in our so­ci­ety. He leaves a legacy of re­lent­less ac­tivism and the high­est or­gan­i­sa­tional dis­ci­pline,” Peer said.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.