Hamba kahle to a patriot who lived without expecting decoration

We join in paying tribute to Dumisani Mafu – one of the supreme heroes of the liberation struggle (“ANC’s first chair in EC mourned” DD, July 11). 

The nation has lost one of its finest, a man of quiet demeanour, full of jest, a soldier for freedom who set the bar high on matters of political, military discipline and general conduct. He was indeed a dignified hero of the revolution.

He joined the struggle as a young lad, inspired by the political resistance of the ’70s. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, the University of Fort Hare, other bush universities across South Africa, and a number of high schools such as St Johns College, had some of the most effective underground cells, and were fertile grounds for recruiting students into Umkhonto weSizwe.

Young, bright and militant students such as Dumisani, Mzwandile Vena and Phumzile Mayaphi left the country in the eighties. It is confirmed by many who worked with Chris Hani, that he wanted to handle this group carefully when he received them in exile, as its members possessed high-level intellectual capabilities and were imbued with radical politics.

He commanded some of the most advanced and disciplined units of MK. In the Battle of Lurwayizo, during the escalated military offensive against the regime and its puppets, he was steadfast and effective in combat and drove back enemy forces.

As a steeled combatant he traversed the country, went secretly to a number of frontline states undertaking underground tasks and consultations with the ANC leadership, infiltrating the country on a number of occasions and building formidable military presence for MK in the country. He lived the last years of his life without expectation of decoration.

The only medals that mattered to him were the proud South African constitution and flag which carries the values and ideals for which so many of his comrades laid down their lives.

The National Heritage Council recognises Dumisani Mafu as a political and military leader, a former civil servant and businessman, a shining example of an unsung hero, a symbol of greatness of ordinary people who so often go unnoticed in society but who continue to be dedicated to the values of building a democratic society.

He worked very hard for the liberation of South Africa and lived to see freedom in his lifetime, yet did not demand affirmation. The multiple layers of his life and times will be part of the narratives contained in the Liberation Heritage Route.

Comrade Mazola was consistent and principled in his support of the retrieval of the memory which depicts the gallantry and commitment of freedom fighters across generations. We salute him for his example and dedication to the nation.

He had a keen interest in heritage within the context of global cultures. We will cherish his wisdom, from the practical deeds and words in supporting the NHC’s Liberation Heritage Route programmes. His involvement and influence was profound and long lasting.

We pay tribute to a true revolutionary and an extraordinary human being who dedicated his entire life to the service of his people. The younger generation and society at large should be inspired by his humble leadership and contributions to our society. God has called him from the labour of life. We pay homage to his life of courage, of activism, of action, of hope and indelible political contribution.

Hamba kahle Zikhali. — Sonwabile Mancotywa, NHC

WE ARE deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of the former chair of the Eastern Cape Liquor Board, Dumisani Mafu. On behalf of the board of directors and staff, we send our sincere sympathy to his family and friends.

We had the privilege of working closely with him as chair of the board of directors from October 2008 to October last year.

During his stint he made a remarkable contribution to the board’s endeavours in realising its mandate to regulate the liquor industry in the province.

He demonstrated rare qualities of leadership and saw the liquor board grow as an organisation. Various achievements it has made can be attributed to his visionary leadership. For example, during his tenure, the board intensified its fight against excessive consumption of alcohol especially through programmes targeting young people.

He personally participated in various underage drinking prevention programmes, which sought to educate young people about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

He had a special passion for young people and advocated for more programmes to empower them to take responsible decisions to mould their futures, instead of indulging in alcohol.

He brought devotion and integrity to the Liquor Board, and his contribution deserves the continued congratulations of us all. His death is a tremendous loss to us all, however, a great man like Dumisani Mafu will live in our hearts as he has bestowed on us experience and merits.

His family can draw the solace from the the knowledge that their beloved son, brother and husband has made a remarkable contribution to growth and development in our country through his unwavering revolutionary work. May his soul rest in peace! — KC Maneli, CEO, Eastern Cape Liquor Board

Stops but no buses?

A COUPLE of years ago, bus stops were built all the way from Parkside to the Vergenoeg area in Buffalo City. Today no buses run in these areas. Why were these sites demarcated and stops erected if no buses use them? Can Buffalo City Metro please explain to us why we have no bus service in these areas?

Meanwhile private refuse trucks are working overtime in Mdantsane to collect refuse, but our areas are blatantly neglected by the metro. Is this this democracy or some sort of punishment? For what may I ask? — Burton Brown, Buffalo Flats

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