Thursday, June 22, 2017

SACP Mourns the Passing Away of its Leader, Dips the Red Banner in Honour of the Liberation and Social Emancipation Stalwart, Cde Kay Moonsamy
22 June 2017

The SACP is saddened by the death late last night in eThekwini of SACP and Alliance veteran Comrade Kay Moonsamy.

Comrade Kay Moonsamy (91) was a former SACP National Treasurer and the last President of the South African Congress of Trade unions (SACTU) at the time of its disbanding (as COSATU`s legal predecessor). He was among the 156 leaders charged for high treason in the historic 1956-1961 Treason Trial.

SACP General Secretary, Cde Dr Blade Nzimande, said: "It`s Comrades like Kay Moonsamy who laid the foundations for our democracy. We owe him and his generation a huge debt. We can`t let them down. Their sacrifices can`t be in vain. We have to defeat the parasitic bourgeoisie and deepen and consolidate our democracy.

"Together with our veteran Comrade Eric Mtshali, Solly Mapaila, Themba Mthembu and other SACP leaders, I visited Comrade Kay about a month ago. He was very distressed about the state of the ANC and couldn`t understand how such a glorious movement could sink to such depths.

"Comrade Kay was a die-hard Communist in the old tradition. He came from a working class background and joined the Communist Party through the trade unions. He was active in a wide range of Alliance structures, but saw himself as first and foremost as a Communist. He was very frank, committed, unyielding, militant, and constantly argued that the 1994 negotiated transition failed the working class and poor because it did not adequately address economic transformation"

Comrade Moonsamy was born in Durban on 5 July 1926. Coming from a very poor background, he had to leave school at 14 and work as a machinist at Rhodesian Timbers Limited. He soon joined the Natal Box, Broom and Brushworkers Union, and became its President.

In December 1944, aged 18, he joined the SACP, then known as the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA), and was elected to the Durban (District) Committee in 1949. He continued to work underground after the CPSA was banned in 1950.

He joined other Communists and other progressives in the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) to form the Anti-Segregation Council to oust the conservative Kajee-Pather leadership of the NIC and replaced them with Comrades Monty Naicker and Communist Yusuf Dadoo, who worked much more closely with the ANC.

Cde Kay was active in the 1946 Passive Resistance Campaign and other campaigns led by the Natal Indian Congress. On his 20th birthday, he was sentenced to 4 months imprisonment under the Riotous Assemblies Act.

During the 1960 State of Emergency he avoided arrest and worked underground. He helped to organise the three-day national protest from 29 to 31 May 1961. On 31 March 1963 he was served with a banning order, and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment a month later for violating his order.

He was also detained under the 90-day law and charged under the Suppression of Communism Act on 1 December 1964. He was given bail, and in June 1965 he went into exile, leaving behind his unemployed wife and 4 minor children.

Based mainly in Lusaka and Dar es Salaam, Zambia and Tanzania respectively he served in various structures of the movement in exile, and attended both the 1969 Morogoro and 1985 Kabwe Conferences of the ANC. He assisted Cde JB Marks the ANC Treasurer General in Dar es Salaam, and in 1982 he was elected Chairperson of the Lusaka Regional Committee of the SACP. He served as Treasurer-General of SACTU before becoming its President in 1989.

He returned to the country in June 1991, and was later elected SACP National Treasurer. In 1999 he was elected to Parliament and served for 10 years.

Cde Kay`s funeral will be held from 12h00 to 13h30 on Saturday, 24 June, at Hall 2 at the Clare Estate Crematorium in Durban.

The SACP dips its revolutionary red banner in honour of this outstanding stalwart of our struggle for liberation and social emancipation!



National Spokesperson & Head of Communications
Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo
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Skype: MashiloAM


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Hlengiwe Nkonyane
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