Tears and tributes as ANC stalwart dies
TRIBUTES poured in yesterday after the death of SACP and ANC stalwart Kesval “Kay” Moonsamy on Wednesday night, aged 91. Moonsamy, a former ANC MP, was described as a selfless freedom fighter by his peers and comrades.
Anti-apartheid activist Yogan Moodley said Moonsamy was a “beautiful friend and comrade” who had entrenched non-racialism in him.
“He was a non-racialist; he never believed in tribalism. He hated it and hated racism and sexism.”
Moodley added that Moonsamy, together with SACP leaders such as Chris Hani and Joe Slovo, had been instrumental in rebuilding the SACP after its unbanning.
“What a lot of people do not know is that Chris Hani was killed after he and Kay had just returned from a trip to China to fund-raise for the SACP.”
He was one of the 156 freedom fighters charged in the Treason Trial of 1956. In 1965 he went into exile in Lusaka and Dar es Salaam, where he continued playing a role in both the ANC and the SACP.
He returned to the country in 1991 and served as SACP national treasurer, and in 1999 was elected a member of Parliament. SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, who visited Moonsamy last month, said the stalwart was distressed about the state of the ANC and could not understand how the party “could sink to such depths”.
“It is comrades like Kay Moonsamy who laid the foundations for our democracy. We owe him and his generation a huge debt. Their sacrifices cannot be in vain. We have to defeat the parasitic bourgeoisie and deepen and consolidate our democracy.”
President Jacob Zuma also paid tribute to Moonsamy, saying his death was an enormous loss to the country. “He was one of the few remaining elders who contributed immensely in the liberation struggle for our freedom and democracy”.
Moonsamy’s daughter, Ragani Naidoo, said her father had been ill for several months. While this was a distressing period for the family, they were grateful for the support from the SACP, the ANC, Cosatu and Zuma.
His funeral service is tomorrow at the Clare Estate Crematorium at 11am.