Comrade Stalin is no more

By AFRICA KA MAHAMBA

*THE AFRICAN NATIONAL Congress in KwaZulu-Natal has lost of the greatest revolutionaries, communist, unionist, chief mobilize, and who is one of the founders of Umkhonto we Sizwe Comrade Eric “Stalin” Mtshali.

Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu the provincial ANC spokesperson told City Post that although they were aware of his ill-health, they were nursing hopes that he would recover and be with them once again.

“As the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, we wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Mtshali family and the South African Communist Party – the party that he served until his last days. What saddens us is that his departure is a depletion of solid leaders who are the custodians of the culture and values of the Alliance. He had a rare ability to analyze the political environment under which we operate and assess the balance of forces and their influence in the success of our programmes.

“In all meetings, he offered analysis on the challenges experienced by the ANC in implementing programmes aimed at driving the transformation of society and offered solutions on how to turn things around. Cde Stalin was known within the ANC and the Alliance as a solution-driven leader. 

“He represented a long list of trade unionists and SAPC leaders who became pillars of the National Democratic Revolution. He spent more than 30 years in exile and represented the South African Congress of Trade Unions at the World Federation of Trade Unions in Prague, Czechoslovakia,” said Simelane-Zulu.

She said Mtshali was a Chief Mobiliser and a disciplined Commissar of the MK, he was a leader whose conviction that our cause would triumph never for one moment flagged.

“The military and political training that he received in Tanzania and Russia strengthened his resolve to ensure the total defeat of the apartheid system. He remains credited for mobilizing urban and rural communities to join the ANC and ultimately the struggle against apartheid in the 40s, 50s and 60s. 

“His bravery was unmatched and it is for these reasons that the former President of the Republic of South Africa, his Excellency J.G Zuma awarded him the National Order of Mendi for Bravery in Silver.

“Importantly, Comrade Stalin used every opportunity in parliament as an MP to advance the interests of ordinary members of society. He was a fearless debater who also prioritized education and the acquisition of knowledge required to achieve the total economic emancipation of the marginalized. His passion for education resulted in a school being named after him,” added Simelane-Zulu.

She concluded by saying as the ANC we are hopeful that during this difficult period, the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the whole country will be comforted knowing that the Eric Stalin Mtshali Secondary School will remain a symbol of hope for many years to come. africa@citypost.co.za

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