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South Africa: the passing away of Raymond Mhlaba

Message of Condolences from the Premier of Limpopo Sello Moloto on the passing away of Raymond Mhlaba

The 20th of February 2005 shall be remembered as a sad day for all South Africans. It was on this day when the heart of one of the greatest revolutionary and stalwart to have ever been produced in this country stopped to beat. We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Mhlaba family, his comrades and friends for the loss they have suffered. Our people also feel their loss too.

During his long life of struggle, Oom Ray as he was commonly known, was a respected and distinguished leader of both the African National Congress, and the South African Communist Party. His life is one that embodied courage and passion for the oppressed and exploited people of South Africa. As a result of this passion and love for his people, he and other stalwarts such as Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu were sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island merely for refusing to accept the injustice of Apartheid.

We will also not forget the other inspiring roles that Oom Ray played in the late stages of his life as both the first Premier of Eastern Cape and South Africa’s Ambassador to Uganda. He demonstrated that he could still make a difference to the lives of millions even though his age and health could not allow him.

Comrade Raymond Mhlaba’s spirit and legacy will always remain in our minds and hearts as we continue with the challenge of creating work and fighting poverty.

Sello Moloto
Limpopo Premier

Issued by: Office of the Premier, Limpopo Provincial Government

Youth celebrate the life and times of Raymond Mhlaba

The country is wearing the clouds, covering the African blue sky wetting the fertile land to signal the departed soul and the beginning of the celebrations for the life and times of Raymond Mhlaba, "Oom Ray".

National Youth Commission Chairperson, Jabu Mbalula, describes Oom Ray as a “revolutionary, doyen, teacher, grandfather, cadre, human rights activist, communist, stalwart and a nation builder”.

He further saluted the man, who in his last days urged the country's leadership, under President Mbeki, to take care of the youth as they are an important vehicle to drive the country's future to prosperity.

As young people in this country his name will always play an important role be it in learning centres - through our quest to understand our South African and African history, and in our deliberations in the shaping of youth development in the country.

Oom Ray played his role in the advancement of united democratic South Africa leaving the youth to take over and fight to dislodge the social ills that still cover our ambitious prospects of seeing Africa moving together to economic prosperity.

"In his first meeting with all the departed heroes and heroines of the struggle he will be able to tell them the country is still in good hands in the quest to build a South Africa that belongs to all those who live in it, black and white" ended Mbalula



Issued by: National Youth Commission (NYC)

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