Numsa statement on the death of comrade Thulani Mashaba

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) in KwaZulu-Natal has learnt with a deep sense of shock and profound sadness of the tragic death of cde Thulani Mashaba, Deputy Mayor of uThungulu District Municipality, who also served as the ANC’s Musa Dladla Regional Chairperson.
Cde Mashaba died last night, Thursday 9 July 2015, near Ballito, after the car he was travelling in hit a puddle before rolling, and ejecting all the occupants, including his bodyguards.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Mashaba family, his colleagues and friends, and the entire community of uThungulu. His tragic death is a huge blow to the uThungulu and its surrounding areas, given the strategic position he occupied as a Deputy Mayor.
As Numsa, we mourn the death of this foot-soldier and dedicated servant of our people. He was amongst the few remaining principled, loyal and honest leaders of the African National Congress (ANC). His leadership style and political posture personified the once revered progressive outlook and historical revolutionary values of the ANC workers used to know, love, believe in and followed unreservedly.
Even though Numsa and cde Mashaba’s political home, the ANC, stood at opposite polls, he was forever available to address the plight of workers in the strategic town of Richards Bay, where Numsa has a sizeable number of members at BHP Billiton and Transnet Port. His incisiveness and forthright thinking will be dearly missed in our usual marathon battles with bosses when they threaten to shift production from Richards Bay, in their quest to maximize profits and in their reliance on cheap labour.
We salute cde Mashaba for respecting the groundbreaking Numsa Special National Congress (SNC) resolutions taken in December 2013. His willingness to robustly engage and appreciate dissenting views on the trajectory of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR), that is off the rails, made him to be a towering figure and placed him far ahead of his peers. His political sobriety and intellectual acumen made him fully understand the underlying political factors and paralysis that are threatening the impending implosion of the progressive trade union movement, particularly Cosatu.
To us, cde Mashaba has not died, his spirit and progressive ideas will continue to live amongst our people, as we fight for the radical and full implementation of the Freedom Charter.
Hamba Kahle Qabane!
Mbuso Ngubane
Regional Secretary
Mobile: 079 502 3242
Tel: 031 301 0283