Thursday, December 05, 2013

A Great Giant Has Fallen: South African Labor Pays Tribute to Nelson Mandela

A great giant has fallen – NEHAWU salutes one of the 20th century`s greatest statesman

6 December 2013

NEHAWU is greatly saddened by the news of the passing away of former ANC and South African President, Comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela yesterday after a long illness.We send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, comrades and to the entire nation.

Tata Madiba was a stalwart of the South African struggle for liberation and one of the country’s founding fathers, who dedicated his entire life to emancipating his people from political and economic oppression. This fearless revolutionary led his people during the darkest days of our country; he never wavered and was always determined to die standing for his people and his principles.

We salute one of the 20th century’s finest historical and political figures; a towering symbol of revolutionary qualities like sacrifice and internationalism. This anti-apartheid revolutionary was the very essence of compassion, dedication, integrity and a symbol of selflessness.

The nation and the entire world has lost a visionary leader whose wisdom and courage was unparalleled and whose love for South Africa and its people knew no bounds. His mental strength, charisma and values outlived the brutal system of apartheid and his humility and vision helped reconcile enemies and forge a common nation united in its diversity.

The world is poorer today after the departure of this moral giant and a political titan. Tata Madiba will remain a global icon and a symbol of hope for the oppressed. His prominence transcended class, race and nationality. He stood tall as a freedom fighter and a moral leader of unique abilities.

We thank his family for their sacrifices , they lent us a father and we gained a leader. We also send solidarity messages to his beloved ANC, his political home and call on them to rededicate themselves to defending the oppressed and in building a truly united, democratic, non-racial, nonsexist and prosperous South Africa that will never betray his principles.

The working people will forever be thankful to Tata Madiba for his dedication to the eradication of institutional racism, poverty, hunger and underdevelopment.

His name will forever live on, in the history of Africa and the world and will continue to represent freedom, equality and social justice. We now challenge the next generation to rise to the arduous challenge of preserving his legacy and leading the nation forward to a better future.

We lower our banners and salute this revolutionary freedom fighter. He loved freedom. He loved his people. He loved life.

May his soul rest in peace!

Issued by NEHAWU NOB’s on behalf of the entire membership

For further information, please contact Fikile Majola {NEHAWU General Secretary} @082 455 1751 or Sizwe Pamla (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 011 833 2902 -082 558 5962 or email:

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COSATU pays tribute to Comrade Madiba

6 December 2013

The Congress of South African Trade Unions joins all South Africans, and millions more all over the world, in mourning the sad loss today, 5 December 2013, of the greatest ever South African and most inspirational leader in our struggle for liberty and democracy, our beloved Comrade, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Comrade Madiba inspired all those fighting for freedom in South Africa and around the world. He suffered long and brutal incarceration, but never became embittered and revengeful. He was elected as our first democratically elected President, but remained a humble and modest servant of his people, who never put his personal interests before his commitment to the struggle.

He never compromised his democratic principles or thought of anything but how to win the ultimate victory of the struggle he lived for, and was prepared to die for - for a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and free South Africa.

Although Comrade Madiba would have insisted that full credit be given to the other giants of the struggle - Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Chief Albert Luthuli, Joe Slovo, Chris Hani and many others – he was unique, the South African who, more than any other, became the embodiment of the struggle against racist dictatorship, apartheid brutality and the exploitation of workers and the poor.

He was honoured with over 250 awards, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Order of Lenin. But for South African workers, the one which we shall always remember is the inaugural Elijah Barayi Award for outstanding leadership and service, presented on COSATU’s 15th birthday in 2000.

There was absolutely no doubt about who should be the first recipient - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. The citation to that award declared: “You have been a constant inspiration to us from the days of the Congress of the People, through the armed struggle, the dark days in prison and exile, the mass uprisings of the eighties, to the period of negotiations, and finally the days of liberation and reconstruction.

“You have always first and foremost been the leader of the people’s movement. Whether you were the young lion fighting to radicalise the ANC, the leader of the defiance campaign, the ‘black pimpernel’ avoiding the clutches of the security police, the MK commander-in-chief seeking weapons and funding in Africa, and unifier and leader on Robben Island, or the negotiator, a statesman and first President of a democratic South Africa, you never lost sight of your role as the leader and servant of the liberation movement.

“You have taught us all this lesson, through your commitment, your dedication, your humility, your selflessness, your loyalty and your discipline: that to be a true leader is to be a servant of your people. For this we salute you.”

The citation concluded with the words of a popular liberation song once sung by MK troops in Angola “We shall always love you, we shall need you, for the things you’ve done for us”.

Now he is no longer with us in person but his example shines more brightly than ever, and will continue to inspire and guide us for as long as we shall live.

The best way to honour his memory is to take forward the struggle he led, and obey the call he made during the ANC’s 50th National Conference: “Here are the reins of the movement – protect and guide its precious legacy; defend its unity and integrity as committed disciples of change; pursue its popular objectives like true revolutionaries who seek only to serve the nation”.

COSATU sends its condolences to all Comrade Madiba’s family, and all his friends and comrades.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Streets

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct 010 219-1339
Fax: +27 11 339-6940
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456

NUM Mourns the death of Nelson Mandela 6 December 2013

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) learnt with sadness the sudden passing of its Honorary President and former President of the republic Nelson Mandela.

Mandela who has throughout sacrificed and dedicated his life for the good of the people of South Africa and the world will be solely missed as a global icon, a peace maker and a freedom fighter of note. As an Honorary President of the NUM, he has been an inspiration through and through and has on many occasions motivated Mineworkers to take education seriously as he believed that it is through it that their children will head mines.

"As we dip our banners and celebrate the life and times of this stalwart, it is time that as South Africans we reflect on the legacy he left behind and the future we have to craft for generations to come" says Frans Baleni, the NUM General Secretary. South Africa is today poorer without him.

Mine, energy and construction workers pass their sincerest words of condolences to our great nation and to all who cared about its welfare.

Lesiba Seshoka- NUM National Spokesman - 0828036719

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