PAC mourns Kgosana
Struggle stalwart, who led the 100 000 strong anti-pass campaign in 1960 dies
THE Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) yesterday said it was saddened by the sudden death of struggle icon Phillip Ata Kgosana who passed away on Wednesday.
He was admitted to hospital after a short illness and died at Arcacia Private Hospital in Pretoria, the PAC said.
PAC spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe said: “Ntate Kgosana needs no introduction and is known to both his friends and foes. He was elected regional secretary of the PAC in the Western Cape when he was a student at the University of Cape Town.
“He worked under the late struggle hero, Clarence Makwetu, who led the PAC to transition from the liberation struggle to modern politics.”
Kgosana was entrusted with a mammoth task of leading more than 100000 people in Cape Town during the Anti-Pass Campaign in 1960 which was organised by the PAC under the leadership of renowned struggle veteran Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe.
The campaign started in Langa’s D Flats on March 21, 1960, the same day that a similar march in Sharpeville, south of Johannesburg ended, with apartheid police killing 69 protesters.
Kgosana fled to Ethiopia where he continued his studies and graduated with a degree in commerce. He also worked for the UN as a programme development officer in 1972.
“He devoted his entire life for the struggle of this country. His cause changed and shaped the entire course of history. He was also a celebrated farmer who understood the significance of land,” Mokgatlhe said.
A PAC delegation which included former PAC president Stanley Mmutlenyane Mogoba, secretary-general Narius Moloto, secretary for political affairs Jaki Seroke and retired general and last commander of Apla Dan Romero Mofokeng, visited the Kgosana family at Karin Park in Pretoria North yesterday to pay their last respects.
Kgosana is survived by his wife, Alice, three sons and two daughters.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille yesterday extended the city’s condolences to Kgosana’s family.
“It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of a Pan-Africanist stalwart, Philip Kgosana,” De Lille said.
“In recognition of his contribution to our country, the city is processing a proposal to rename De Waal Drive after Philip Kgosana.
“As a valiant fighter in the struggle for freedom, Kgosana dedicated his life to the political cause, as the former regional secretary of the PAC for the Western Cape.”
President Jacob Zuma also extended his heartfelt condolences on the death of the PAC stalwart, freedom fighter and former Tshwane metropolitan councillor.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of this former freedom fighter who dedicated his life to the liberation of the people of South Africa,” Zuma said.
“We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the Kgosana family and his political home, the PAC. May his soul rest in peace.”
Dates for a memorial and funeral service for Kgosana will be announced at a later stage.
LOSS: Struggle icon and dedicated PAC member Phillip Ata Kgosana died in Pretoria this week.