Blade Nzimande, the South African Transport Minister and South African Communist Party general secretary expressed his condolence over loss of stalwart Eric “Stalin” Mtshali. However, major part of his speech at the funeral was to make mourners understand that for those who fought to end apartheid, should not use their legacy as “a license to loot.”
“As we say goodbye to comrade Mtshali, we need to remind ourselves that the fact that you were in the struggle against apartheid is not a license that today you must use your position in the movement or the government to loot and enrich yourself.”
Mtshali, 84, was a key member who helped in foundation of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (Sactu) and was a part of the Umkhonto weSizwe leadership in what was then Natal.
Nzimande highlighted Mtshali’s values, which guided the struggle against the infectious apartheid and were not forgotten even after its abolishment. He said, that the values hold hold even more importance to this day, as selfless service to our people is of the utmost priority.
Mtshali’s love for political education was one that drove the constitution forward. Nzimande presenting his point of view said, in order to resolve issues, faced by the alliance, it must be kept in mind that organizations and alliances can only unite with the power of political knowledge or understanding. “We cannot take our revolution forward unless we have an educated cadreship.”
Mtshali was a firm practitioner of ‘democratic centralism’. A comprehensive strategy, focused to derive the best out of all. The decisions taken by the higher authority are binding on all lower structures, but higher structures must consult with lower structures before they firmly arrive at a decision, said Nzimande.
Mtshali died at “a complicated period of our revolution”, a time of “huge challenges” and “persistent economic stagnation”, but alliance members should support the efforts being made by the government to revitalise the economy, particularly the resolutions of the jobs summit and upcoming investment summit, Nzimande said.
There was no task to small nor too huge for struggle stalwart Eric “Stalin” Mtshali, Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said, who was one amongst those present at the funeral.
Mtshali, 84, died at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban after a long illness, the ANC confirmed last week.