Hon­orary doc­tor­ate for 92-year-old Strug­gle hero

Pretoria News - - Front Page - RUDZANI MAT­SHILI rudzani.mat­shili@inl.co.za

THE con­tri­bu­tions and sac­ri­fices of Strug­gle vet­eran Tlou Theophilus Cholo were recog­nised yes­ter­day, with an hon­orary doc­tor­ate con­ferred on him by the Tsh­wane Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (TUT).

The 92-year-old re­ceived his award at the in­sti­tu­tion’s spring grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony yes­ter­day where scores of stu­dents from the fac­ulty of hu­man­i­ties re­ceived their qual­i­fi­ca­tions at a grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony in the Gen­cor Com­mu­nity Hall on TUT’s Soshanguve South Cam­pus.

But the day be­longed to Cholo. The doc­tor­ate was con­ferred on him by TUT chan­cel­lor Dr Gwen Ramok­gopa, also the MEC for Health in Gaut­eng.

Cholo was de­scribed him as a self­less cadre who gave his life­time to the Strug­gle.

Cholo also re­ceived the Or­der of Luthuli in Sil­ver in 2009 for his self­less de­vo­tion to the fight against apartheid.

He ac­cepted the award say­ing he was over­whelmed to have been hon­oured, but that it had a his­tor­i­cal mean­ing.

“The hon­orary de­gree has been con­ferred upon me and there­fore I have to con­tinue to be its liv­ing ex­am­ple and this con­firms that there is re­la­tion­ship be­tween ed­u­ca­tion and life.”

He en­cour­aged stu­dents at the cer­e­mony to never stop study­ing. “Hav­ing Grade 12 only is not enough. Even those stu­dents who re­ceived their qual­i­fi­ca­tions here to­day must not stop study­ing. Ed­u­ca­tion is im­por­tant in life if you want to suc­ceed,” he said.

Cholo is a man of many firsts; he was the first vol­un­teer cadre of Umkhonto we Sizwe to leave the coun­try for mil­i­tary train­ing. He was an ex­cep­tional leader in the trade union move­ment from Ga-Mat­lala, Lim­popo, demon­strat­ing out­stand­ing lead­er­ship qual­i­ties and mo­bil­is­ing work­ers. He was also recog­nised as one of the founders of Cosatu.

In 1952, he be­came a card-car­ry­ing mem­ber of the SACP. Six years later, he was elected as deputy sec­re­tary of the ANC in Joburg. He also co-founded the SA Congress of Trade Unions in the 1950s.

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