Eric Mtshali

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE MOURNS THE DEATH OF COMRADE ERIC MTSHALI

The ANC Veterans league is deeply saddened by the untimely death of Comrade Eric Mtshali.

Dr Vanguard Mkosana, former NEC member of South African Congress of Trade Unions reflects on the life and times of the late Eric Mtshali.

If moments of historical significance were marked by the blowing of horns and the jingling of bells SA would be standing still to observe the moment, for it has now come. The death of comrade Eric Mtshali and those of his generation mark the end of an era of a rare breed of freedom fighters who were groomed to be highly political, to be trade unionists, to be Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants, be organic intellectuals and above all to be patriotic. All these Comrade Mtshali grew to be.

Comrade Eric Mtshali was born and bred in Durban. He went to school and after Matric he was absorbed into the politics of the country. The ground was very fertile for him to grow fast politically. He was surrounded by powerful leaders both in the African National Congress, South African Communist Party (underground) and in the trade unions. These were leaders, like Chief Albert Luthuli, the then President General

of the ANC, veteran trade unionists like Stephen Dlamini, MP Naicker, Harry Gwala, George Poonen, Moses Mabhida, Dorothy Nyembe and many others. He became active mainly in the trade union movement in the roaring 1950s of the Defiance Campaign 1952, the creation of the first non-racial trade union federation, South African Congress Trade Unions 1955, the adoption of the Freedom Charter 1955, the historic women’s march to the Union Buildings 1956 and the Treason Trial 1956. As a young trade unionist he would carry the membership forms from the unorganized workers while on the other hand he collected the people’s demands for inclusion in the making of the Freedom Charter. Mtshali’s trade union activities started with organizing the dockworkers in the early fifties. When organizing the unorganized workers he encountered a practical challenge of workers who were ready to join the union of their industry while the industrial unions were mostly non-existent. The General Workers Unions were the easy route to solve the problem yet this was a direct challenge to the long established principle of organizing workers according to the industry in which they work. When SACTU was formed in 1955 it embraced the industrial principle but in its fifth Conference it passed a resolution endorsing the formation of General Workers Unions as a temporary home while the industrial unions were in the making. SACTU Local Committees were tasked to give leadership to transition the GWUs to industrial unions and Cde Mtshali played no small role in this.

Comrade Mtshali’s trade union work earned him the honour of being one of the founding members of the SACTU, the first non-racial trade union federation in SA. He attended as the leader of the delegation of African Milling WU.

When Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) was formed in 1961 Cde Eric was tasked with the delicate work of being part of those in charge of the Command structure of MK in Natal. He did his work with distinction until circumstances forced him to go into exile in 1962. It was then that he went for military training in the then Soviet Union and Cuba. He received intelligence training as well. On his return he went to Kongwa the first ANC base in Tanzania. It was here that he rubbed shoulders with the great leaders of our Movement like uncle JB Marks, Moses Kotane, Archie Sibeko (Cde Zola Zembe), Mark Shope, Aaron Pemba (Cde BB), Chris Hani and many others under the able leadership of OR Tambo.

When Wankie and Sepolilo 1967 campaign was conceived to return as trained cadres to confront the enemy, Cde Eric’s intelligence training was put into full use.

In exile Cde Eric’s leadership skills allowed him to be given sensitive assignments without fear of failure. It was in 1971 that he was elected to the Central Committee of the SACP. His theoretical grounding was used to develop young comrades especially after 1976 when oqiniselani flooded the ranks of the ANC in exile. Cde Eric used his training in dialectics to tackle any challenge he encountered. This made him renown as one who would not jump to conclusions but consider all angles of the problem before he aired his views.

The ANC assigned him the responsibility to be the Chief Representative (Ambassador equivalent) in Tanzania where he served until 1976. SACTU deployed him to the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) in Prague to relieve Cde Moses Mabhida who was needed for other responsibilities back in Africa. Before him the same office was serviced by comrades Wilton Mkwayi, Mark Shope, Moses Mabhida then Eric Mtshali who was followed by Joe Molokeng the last SACTU representative at WFTU.

Ray Alexander arguably the mother of progressive trade unionism in SA, working with ILO, linked up with the WFTU Prague based comrades listed above to reignite the trade union movement after the so-called political lull, which followed repression and the banning of the political organisations in 1960. Cde Eric used the broad international network of friends and supporters to mobilise resources necessary to pursue the SA struggle for freedom.

On his return from Prague to Lusaka in 1982, Cde Eric who was a National Executive Committee member of SACTU was charged with the responsibility of Head of Propaganda, Information & Publicity Department of SACTU. This responsibility also meant that he would be the editor of Workers Unity –the SACTU journal. SACTU offices in Western Europe and in Africa flooded SA with literature on progressive trade unionism. Similarly Radio Freedom broadcasting from different Frontline States had a slot, Workers Front which was dedicated to trade union mobilization and education.

At this stage SACTU was under the leadership of comrades John Nkadimeng as General Secretary, Mark Shope as Head of Education, Aaron Pemba/BB as Head of International, Mhleli Mgwayi/Cde Gazi as Head of Internal Department of SACTU, Cde Kay Moonsamy as Treasurer and Cde Stephen Dlamini as President. These are luminaries of trade unionism in South Africa. They consciously built the next generation of leaders. They would say give young people space to work, to explore and commit mistakes so that they could learn from them.

In the 1988 SACTU conference they handed over leadership to the younger comrades and remained as mentors until SACTU resolved to phase out in favour of COSATU in 1990 after the unbanning of political organisations and return of the exiles.

The Movement can pride itself for having produced one of the refined organic intellectuals in the person of Cde Eric whose ideas found expression in the development of dynamic young trade union leaders of the late 1970s and 1980s who are the current leaders of SA.

From
Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANC Veterans League

President Cyril Ramaphosa & Tito Mboweni

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA ON POSITION OF FINANCE MINISTER

Fellow South Africans,

Over the course of the last few days there has been much discussion among South Africans on matters that arose in the course of the testimony of Minister Nhlanhla Nene at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

As a consequence of these developments, Minister Nene submitted a letter of resignation this morning in which he requested that I relieve him of the position of the Minister of Finance.

He has indicated that there is risk that the developments around his testimony will detract from the important task of serving the people of South Africa, particularly as we work to re-establish public trust in government.

After due consideration of the evidence presented by Minister Nene at the Commission, and in the interests of good governance, I have decided to accept his resignation.

During his tenure as Minister of Finance, Mr Nene served the people and government of South Africa with diligence and ability.

Under difficult circumstances and often under great pressure, he consistently defended the cause of proper financial management and clean governance.

It is a measure of his character and his commitment to the national interest that he has taken this decision to resign in the wake of errors of judgment, even though he has not been implicated in acts of wrongdoing.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank him for his service to the nation.

In the wake of Mr Nene’s resignation, I have decided to appoint Mr Tito Mboweni as Minister of Finance with immediate effect.

As former governor of the South African Reserve Bank and, before that, as Minister of Labour, Mr Mboweni brings to this position vast experience in the areas of finance, economic policy and governance.

Mr Mboweni takes on this responsibility at a critical moment for our economy, as we intensify cooperation among all social partners to increase investment, accelerate growth and create jobs on a substantial scale.

This moment calls for strong, capable and steady leadership that will unlock new opportunities as we grow and transform our economy.

I am confident that Mr Mboweni will provide that leadership.

Allow me to conclude with a few remarks about the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

It is critical that the Commission has the means and opportunity to effectively fulfil its mandate.

In this process, no person should be above scrutiny, and all relevant and credible accusations of wrongdoing should be thoroughly investigated.

It is incumbent upon any person who may have knowledge of any of the matters within the Commission’s mandate to provide that information to the Commission, to do so honestly and to do so fully.

For the country to move forward, we need to establish the full extent of state capture, identify those responsible for facilitating it, and take decisive steps to prevent it happening again.

Throughout this process, we need to be guided by the values and principles of our Constitution, mindful of the importance of due process, committed to good governance, and determined that, with the support of all South Africans, the Commission of Inquiry will succeed in fulfilling its critical mandate.

Once more, I wish to thank Mr Nene for his tireless service to the country, and wish Mr Mboweni well in his new role.

I thank you.

COMESA

Madagascar Set to Implement the 50 Million African Women Speak Project

Madagascar is set to implement the 50 Million African Women Speak (50MWS) project following the successful two-day stakeholders’ engagement held from 4 – 5 September 2018 in Antananarivo.

The COMESA delegation paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Trade and Consumption, Miss Yvette Sylla and to the Minister of Population, Social Protection and Promotion, Miss Naharimamy Lucien Irmah. Both Ministers expressed the government commitment and support towards the successful implementation of the project

The 50MWS is a three-year project funded by the African Development Bank. It is jointly implement-ed by three Regional Economic Communities (RECs): COMESA, East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community for Western African States (ECOWAS) in 38 countries.

Addressing delegates during the forum, Minister Naharimamy Lucien Irmah said the geographical location of Madagascar should not hinder the access of Malagasy entrepreneurs to COMESA mar-kets.

“Women are serious entrepreneurs in Madagascar be it in trading clothing articles, craft, essential oils, and agriculture, among others,” she said. “However, selling of their products remains a serious challenge. Since this project is technology based, we are expecting it to help them penetrate the COMESA market and reach out to a wider target.”

The COMESA Head of the Delegation, Mrs. Mekia Mohammed Redi outlined how the project will contribute to the empowerment of the Malagasy women through the provision of financial and non-financial information and services.

“The objective of the project is to empower women entrepreneurs by providing access to financial and non-financial information relevant to develop and grow their business. Therefore, the 50 Million African Women Speak, through the creation of a dynamic digital networking platform, will enable women entrepreneurs in Africa to connect with one

another in ways that will foster peer-to-peer learn-ing, mentoring and the sharing of information and knowledge within communities”.

She also added that the platform will provide information and available services on social and other matters relevant to women empowerment in general.

According to studies conducted separately by the African Development Bank and COMESA, the ap-propriate use of ICTs contributes towards reducing some of the gender-specific challenges affecting women entrepreneurs in Africa.

The government of Madagascar pledged to support the implementation of the project. Among the key milestones realized was the formulation of the country team that will drive the implementation of the project at the national level. The country Team is made up of representatives from the public sector, private sector, women associations and non-governmental organizations. The country team agreed that the project will be led and housed in the Ministry responsible for gender and women’s affairs. The national content developer will be responsible for gathering and developing relevant con-tent to be uploaded on the platform will also be working under the supervision of the Ministry respon-sible for gender.

Minister Sisulu

Minister Sisulu meets Secretary of State, Mr Pompeo

New York-The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu held a bilateral meeting with the United States Secretary of State, Mr Michael Pompeo today, 28 September 2018 in New York.

The two Ministers used the occasion to review the state of the bilateral relations between South Africa and United States and exchanged views on African and global peace and security issues.

They expressed satisfaction with the scope and depth of cooperation between the two countries in a wide range of issues, covering political diplomatic, economic social, technical, scientific as well as people to people cooperation.

The two Ministers reaffirmed the commitment of their governments and business sectors to intensify and deepen trade and investment relations.

Minister Sisulu reiterated South Africa’s call for its exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs.

Minister Sisulu also gave Secretary Pompeo a detailed briefing about South African land reform. The Minister emphasized that the land reform and agrarian reform process will be undertaken within the framework of the Constitution and implemented in a manner that does not affect economic stability and food stability. In this regard the two Ministers agreed to convene a meeting of all South African based US companies to brief them about the land reform process.

Minister Sisulu welcomed the nomination of an Ambassador to South Africa by the United States and informed Secretary Pompeo that the necessary processes are under way for the consideration of her credentials.

With regards to peace and security matters, Secretary Pompeo congratulated South Africa for its election into the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as the non-permanent member for the period 2019-2020. Minister Sisulu thanked the US for its support and emphasized that South Africa will prioritize the resolution of conflict on the African Continent in pursuit of the African Union’s aspiration of silencing the guns by 2020.

Minister Sisulu welcomed the US’s initiative with regards to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the hope that this will lead to the denuclearization of the Peninsula.

The two Ministers agreed to continue exchanging views with regards to the Israel and Palestine situation. They both underscored that a satisfactory resolution would be based on a two states’ solution.

At the conclusion of a cordial and fruitful bilateral discussion, Minister accepted an invitation from Secretary Pompeo to undertake a working visit to Washington at the dates to be finalized through the diplomatic channels.

Minister Edna Molewa

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA ANNOUNCES PASSING AWAY OF MINISTER EDNA MOLEWA

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced, with profound sadness, that Minister of Environmental Affairs Ms Edna Molewa passed away today, Saturday 22 September 2018, after a period of illness.

Minister Molewa passed away at a Pretoria hospital.

“I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Minister Edna Molewa as well as to her colleagues in Cabinet and across all spheres of government who have had the privilege to work alongside an extraordinary leader of our people.

“This is a devastating loss to our nation and to the global community who owe a great debt of gratitude to the late Minister Molewa for her championship nationally and globally for the environmental integrity of a sustainable planet Earth that can be shared and enjoyed by all nations and all people, rich and poor.

“Minister Molewa has distinguished herself in many capacities and causes from her contribution to our liberation to fighting for equality of women in our society. We shall miss her greatly.”

President Ramaphosa has declared a period of mourning with immediate effect and ordered that the National Flag be flown at halfmast at all flag stations countrywide and at South African diplomatic missions abroad.

Details of commemorative events and funeral arrangements will be communicated in due course.

President Ramaphosa, who is due to travel to New York later today for his inaugural participation as Head of State and Government in the United Nations National Assembly, is due to visit the Molewa family in the course of the day.

Media Enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson – 072 854 5707

ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

ANC Veterans Leauge

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE MOURNS THE DEATH OF PAGE BOIKANYO

It was with a deep sense of shock and sadness when I was informed that Page had passed away. I had been to his house the previous month to see him, but it never crossed my mind that today we would be gathered in this venue to bid farewell to this gallant fighter and a veteran of our struggle.

I got to know Page when he arrived in Botswana in 1976 together with Moss Mothupi Malaka and Zenzo-who passed on when were studying in Bulgaria- may His Soul Rest in Peace. By then I was based in Botswana and with comrades Keith Mokoape and Isaac Makopo. We were responsible for setting up an ANC underground office, recruiting, training and infiltrating ANC combatants into South Africa.

But then I really got close to him when, after we had been made prohibited immigrants in Botswana. We were instructed to leave for Lusaka, Zambia, where the ANC Head Quarters was based, and after a time, I proceeded to Sofia, Bulgaria where I studied Journalism.

It is here that we developed a close bond of friendship with Page. It was especially so because we got to study the same course at the University of Sofia.

A serious student, Page was always immersed in books. He believed that education was the best investment and read voraciously, from Gorky to Baldwin, from Alex La Guma to Kgositsile and Mazizi Kunene, from Karl

Marx,Lenin to Breytenbach – books, political, poetical and aesthetical. He had even read James Hadley Chase, especially his “No Orchids for Miss Blandish”.

But above all he liked his music and was haughty, and jealously guarded his rare LP’s. Yes, he compiled these and we would enjoy them with him as and when we visited him. Page Bluesman was always with Blues.

Page was a snazzy dresser and quality clothes simply fitted him like they were made specially for him. Nobody can deny the fact that he was neat and tidy and was finicky when it came to disorder.

He was one of those comrades who would not miss the annual brigada, a voluntary exercise undertaken by ANC students in Bulgaria. Every year, without fail, he would be part of the ANC Youth that volunteered during school vacation to work under the sweltering sun from dawn to dusk. From the proceeds of this toil, we would buy the necessary paraphernalia like sowing machines, powerful radios from the then Soviet Union, underwear and the like. These would be shipped to forward countries in Southern Africa where our ANC- Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants resided like Angola, Lusaka, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Our friendship blossomed when we came back home in the early nineties. We would meet occasionally during those testing times and we never forgot where we came from and what our mantra was, for we were moulded by the likes of Oliver Tambo.

We never lost sight of the fact that the struggle did not end with the political power we had attained. As former students from Bulgaria, we regularly met and still meet to further strengthen the bond of yesteryear.

In 2005, when I left the Department of Labour after a three year successful and exciting stint, Page took the baton and ran with it. He worked at the Department of Labour until last year, when his illness forced him to take leave of the department.

We, members of the ANC Veterans League and of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the spear and shield of the struggling masses of our people ,say with firm conviction, we shall always strive for unity of our organisation, even in times of stark adversity and seeming phase of near helplessness.

Lastly, death do not be proud, as you robbed us one of our own. Till we meet again dear comrade, dear brother, dear friend.

To your wife Nkwadi and children, be comforted by the fact that your husband and dad was one of a kind.

He will forever be remembered as a member of a generation of young people who took upon themselves to fight the apartheid regime and build a better life for all our people in South Africa.

Rest in peace Paigeno as we fondly called him. Robala ka kagiso..

SNUKI ZIKALALA PRESIDENT OF THE ANC VETERANS LEAGU

Brand South Africa

UNDP Report shows that South Africans are enjoying a longer and healthier life

Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s improvement in the 2018 United Nations Development Programme

(UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR). South Africa’s 2018 ranking is 113 out of 189 countries, with an over-all human development score increased to 0.699.

 Brand South Africa’s GM for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock said: “This means that South Africans today enjoy a longer, healthier life, have better access to

education and a more decent living standard. The National Development Plan (NDP) identifies human development as a critical part of inclusive growth and

acknowledges its inadequate improvement in relation to education, health and safety. South Africa has a good story developing, indicated by the steady

improvement of its HDI score over the last years.”

 As in previous years, South Africa has seen a steady increase in its Human Development Index (HDI) value since 1990, moving up 7.2% from 0.621 in 1990, to 0.666

in 2014.  South Africa’s improvement in the rankings comes as a result of advancements in the area of Life Expectancy in which South Africa has made marked progress since 2005.

 Released by the UNDP, of these 189 countries the Index covers the following groupings of nations (in terms of human development) appear: 59 – Very High

Human Development; 53 – High Human Development; 39 – Medium Human Development; and 38 – Low Human Development (in 2010 there were 49 in the Low Human Development category).

 “South Africa is classified as being located in the medium human development category, and the country’s HDI of 0.699 is above average in this category.

The country’s performance is even more impressive when compared to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, which has an average HDI score of 0.537,” adds Dr de Kock.

The top five nations in terms of human development are Norway with an HDI Value of 0.953; Switzerland achieves an HDI Value of 0.944); Australia’s HDI Value

is recorded to be at 0.939; Ireland’s HDI Value is positioned at 0.938; and Germany’s HDI Value is reported to be 0.936.

The 2018 report warns that climatic changes, escalating civil conflicts (e.g. in Libya, Yemen, and Syria), and growing inequality will continue to impact

negatively on human development prospects in many parts of the world.

 

ENDS

 

 

Notes to the Editor

 

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

 

 

About Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.

 

Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.

General Arlindo Chenda Pena Unita

OFFICIAL COMMUNIQUE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA

The Government of the Republic Of Angola would like herewith to inform the public that it has taken the initiative to formally request the Government of the Republic Of South Africa for assistance in repatriating the remains of the late General Arlindo Chenda Pena “Ben Ben”, ex-Deputy Chief of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces, who passed away in South Africa on the 18th of October 1998.

The request by the Angolan Government received the highest attention from the Government of the Republic of South Africa.

In this regard, a senior Angolan Government delegation led by the Minister of Justice and Human Rights accompanied by several Generals of the Angolan Armed Forces will depart for South Africa on the 13th of September 2018.

The Government of the Republic Of Angola extends its gratitude to the highest authorities of the Government of the Republic of South Africa for having created all the necessary conditions which facilitated the realization of this request of the exhumation and repatriation of the mortal remains of the late General 20 years after his passing.

Fedusa

FEDUSA and PSA Slam Gauteng Government for Health Head Office Blaze

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and its public sector affiliate, the Public Servants Association (PSA) have expressed shock at the death of an emergency worker who fell to his death from the 22nd floor of the Gauteng Department of Health Head Office building in the Johannesburg CBD on Wednesday.

FEDUSA and the PSA slammed the Gauteng Government for the poor conditions of state buildings in the province that posed a serious health and safety risky to workers and members of the public.

“The PSA, which represents thousands of members in Gauteng, has over the past number of years been highlighting the poor state of Gauteng Government buildings. As recently as 17 August 2018, the PSA warned the Gauteng Provincial Government that none of the government buildings in the province meets the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

“The PSA specifically warned that the Gauteng Health Head Office was a hazardous environment. The GPG did not take these warnings seriously, resulting in today’s tragedy. The PSA puts the blame directly on the GPG as it ignored warnings and neglects the maintenance of departmental buildings to a stage of total dilapidation,” said PSA Acting General Manager, Tahir Maepa.

“A PSA official was on the 22nd floor of the building when the evacuation call came. There were no fire marshals to direct or assist people struggling down the stairs. There is no working fire alarm in the building and many people on lower floors did not know about the fire until they were alerted by people fleeing the building”.

Maepa said on many occasions, the PSA had warned the provincial government about the absence of trained health and safety teams in these buildings. 

“Government has neglected the maintenance of many buildings with dire consequences. The PSA is currently busy with a court application regarding the National Department of Health’s Head Office in the Civitas Building in Pretoria that also does not meet Occupational Health and Safety Act requirements. The Ministers of Health and Public Works attended a meeting with the PSA on 15 August 2018 where it was confirmed that Civitas Building should be vacated, and employees be provided with a workplace that is safe and free from health risks,” he said.

“On Wednesday the PSA was taken by surprise when the National Department of Health gave an ultimatum that employees must work under the same conditions of the unsafe building, instead of resorting to addressing members’ health concerns. It seems the Department is set on ignoring the health and safety of its employees in violation of their constitutional right. In view of today’s tragedy, the PSA demands that the Minister of Health immediately closes both the Gauteng Health Head Office Building and Civitas Building”.

the PSA has instructed its attorneys to institute an urgent application to compel the Department to provide a working environment that is not harmful to the Union’s members’ health and wellbeing, in an effort to protect the lives of employees and other people, concluded Maepa.

President Donald Trump

Senators Flake and Coons respond to President Trump’s tweet about South Africa

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement.

“President Trump’s unfortunate tweet in response to a Fox News broadcast should not distract the United States from improving relations with South Africa.  As members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we care deeply about the United

States’ relationships with all African countries.  Constructive relationships require measured dialogue as opposed to arbitrary tweets.”