Tribute to the late Comrade Duma Nkosi and Maggie Tlou on the ANC Caucus Memorial Service by Comrade Seiso Mohai, Chairperson of the ANC Caucus

10 March 2022

Programme Director,
The bereaved families and extended families of comrade Duma Nkosi and comrade Maggie Tlou;
The Chief Whip of the Majority Party comrade Pemmy Majodina;
Leadership of the ANC Caucus;
Members of the national executive present here today;
Friends, comrades and colleagues;

To us in the African National Congress, the fitting tribute to these two gallant fighters of our movement, the African National Congress, is not just a ritual, but also the expression of human solidarity, which is the lifeblood of the African National Congress.

No amount of spinning can conceal the one common defining attribute shared by these two comrades, namely: selflessness and unquestionable dedication to the African National Congress and the national democratic revolution. These comrades served our movement, at its own behest in different capacities and at different levels.

Their readiness to subordinate their own personal and family interests to that of the African National Congress in the service of our people and the country is among the rich legacy that we must defend and uphold. We are speaking of comrades who were leaders in their own rights, yet had the humility to serve our movement with honour and to be led when required. They refused to be swayed by moods of passing events of history in defense of the collective leadership and unity of the African National Congress.

Programme Director, history has proven that one of the supreme test of a great leader is the ability to be led, because for a great leader leadership is service not prestige or entitlement. Today we see many of our comrades silently withdrawing their service to the organization when they are not elected in leadership position. This is not what Duma Nkosi and Maggie Tlou were.

These two comrades pass away when their wisdom and experiences accumulated over many decades under the most trying times are needed for the renewal and unity of our movement. This therefore poses a critical question to the ANC Caucus in terms of how it honours the best among the departed from its ranks.

For those who worked closely with comrade Duma Nkosi, there can be no denying that, Duma Nkosi was a fearless fighter of our movement, a pragmatist in ideological outlook, and a principled cadre, who never shied away from engaging with complex questions of theory and practice without taking asylum in populism.

The same can be said about comrade Maggie Tlou: a humble, selfless servant of the people, a good listener endowed with the richness of tactical flexibility and firmness of principle. Comrade Maggie had the ability to interact with young and old at their own levels without imposing her age as barrier for meaningful engagement.

To the two families, as the ANC Caucus we indeed share your pain and great sense of loss with the passing away of these two comrades.

Their premature death has made our Caucus and the African National Congress weaker.

Contrary to the wishful and false prophesies by some, the ANC is yet to exist as a central force in the body politics of South Africa beyond this century. Programme Director, we say this because critical to the historical mission of the African National Congress is the accomplishment of the strategic goals of the National Democratic Revolution.

The state power, critical as this may be, does not define the existence of the African National Congress. If this was so, we could have long closed the shop in the Western Cape.

It is our view that the setbacks suffered by the African National Congress characterized by the declining electoral support are not permanent. We must however hasten to point out that, this is however, not given, but a function and the outcome of renewal and unity.

Critical to the success of this project is the capacity of our movement to cleanse itself of rogue and opportunist elements who see this glorious movement of the people as a stepping ladder for self-enrichment and prestige. It is in this context that we must emphasize that the real unity will only come out of concrete struggles not any form of pact by the political elite.

Programme Director allow me therefore to express our gratitudes to the families for sharing these two giants with the African National Congress and the people of South Africa, and lastly for giving us the opportunity to organize this memorial service in honour of these two giants.

I must singularly express our gratefulness to the Office of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party for making this memorial service a success.

Programme Director and fellow comrades, Masole ana e re leng mona ka sehopotso sa bona ba o e ntse mosebetsi WA bona, ba betlile tsela ntle le ho kgotjwa. Ha re lateleng mehlala ya bona, re nke marumo a bona re tswele pele ka ntwa ho fihlela re fedisa bofuma, tlhoko ya mesebetsi le ho hloka tekatekanong setjhabeng sa rona.

Ha meya ya bona e robale ka kgotso

Ke ya leboha

Amandla

Long live the spirit of comrade Duma Nkosi, Long Live!
Long Live the spirit of comrade Maggie Tlou, Long Live!!!