Msi­mang, a true rev­o­lu­tion­ary

Spe­cial burial for ANC stal­wart

Sowetan - - In Memoriam - By Pule Mabe Pule is na­tional spokesper­son of the ANC.

Born: De­cem­ber 8 1928 Died: De­cem­ber 3 Fu­neral: To­mor­row at the Chris­tian Re­vival Church, cor­ner Lyn­nwood and Solomon Mahlangu roads in Tsh­wane, Pre­to­ria

A gi­ant has fallen. A relentless fighter for free­dom and jus­tice is no more.

A pas­sion­ate cham­pion for the rights of the poor and down­trod­den has gone the way of all mor­tal flesh. A tire­less de­fender of our rev­o­lu­tion has been reunited with Oliver Tambo, Nel­son Man­dela, Walter Sisulu, Ruth Mom­pati, Lil­lian Ngoyi, Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela, Chris Hani and many dis­tin­guished lead­ers of our move­ment.

The ANC fam­ily, its al­liance partners and the rest of the coun­try, are dev­as­tated by the pass­ing of one of its loyal cadres, com­rade Mendi Msi­mang. We mourn the pass­ing of this stal­wart and vet­eran of our move­ment, who never wa­vered in the face of dif­fi­cul­ties but re­mained loyal to the na­tional demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion.

Msi­mang per­son­i­fied core val­ues of the congress move­ment. Death has robbed the peo­ple of SA of one of its finest sons who val­ued the free­dom of his peo­ple more than his own life. Msi­mang’s death marks the end of a rev­o­lu­tion­ary life that was ded­i­cated to the Strug­gle for jus­tice, and the de­fence of our free­dom.

Un­cle Mendi, as he was af­fec­tion­ately known, be­longs to that gen­er­a­tion of free­dom fighters who were pre­pared to pay the supreme price in pur­suit of the lib­er­a­tion.

This un­wa­ver­ing rev­o­lu­tion­ary served his peo­ple self­lessly, and with no ex­pec­ta­tion of any ma­te­rial re­wards. He is an ex­am­ple wor­thy of em­u­la­tion by the younger gen­er­a­tion.

Un­cle Mendi, was a longserv­ing mem­ber of the ANC, hav­ing cut his teeth along with Sisulu and oth­ers in the ANC Youth League as a stu­dent.

In recognition of his com­mit­ment to the ideals of the ANC, and the demo­cratic gov­ern­ment, Msi­mang was awarded the Or­der for Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice in Sil­ver by for­mer pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela in 1999, along with other South African greats such as Ray Alexan­der Si­mons, Ge­orge Bi­zos, Miriam Makeba, Fran­cis Baard, to name but a few.

Msi­mang re­mained a relentless and calm ac­tivist. De­spite his ad­vanced age, he con­tin­ued to serve the coun­try and the ANC as a mem­ber of the ANC in­tegrity com­mis­sion ap­pointed in 2013, and a mem­ber of the ad­vi­sory board on na­tional or­ders.

We salute him for his un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to serve self­lessly and with hu­mil­ity. We com­mit to con­tinue to cel­e­brate his life and lead­er­ship, and pre­serve his legacy for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

When com­rade Mathews Phosa was elected ANC trea­surer-gen­eral at our 52nd na­tional con­fer­ence in Polok­wane, he in­vited him to serve on the fi­nance com­mit­tee.

Msi­mang went un­der­ground when the ANC was banned in 1961, and was di­rected to join Oliver Tambo in the ANC in Lon­don.

Af­ter years of ser­vice in ex­ile‚ in­clud­ing as ANC chief rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the UK‚ he re­turned to SA. He was elected to the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the ANC at its first con­fer­ence af­ter its un­ban­ning in 1991.

Msi­mang was the hus­band of the later for­mer health minister Manto Tsha­bal­ala-Msi­mang who died in 2009.

Msi­mang will be given a spe­cial of­fi­cial fu­neral to­mor­row in Pre­to­ria.

/ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Mendi Msi­mang served ANC right into ad­vanced age.

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