Obituary: Elliot Thanduxolo Ndyebo, Pietermaritzburg UDF and ANC activist

2012-09-26 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG’S northern suburbs residents bid farewell last week to a well-known and popular political activist, Elliot Thanduxolo Ndyebo.

Ndyebo (56), who died after a short illness, ran the ANC constituency office in the area.

His activism went back to the 1980s when he was a staunch member of the United Democratic Front (UDF). At that time he assisted in an advice office in the area and was the backroom worker on many protest marches and campaigns.

In 1990 he served as a volunteer for the first northern areas ANC office in Sirkhod Road, Raisethorpe, and shortly thereafter became an administrator in the office.

This meant that he worked closely with such stalwarts as Harry Gwala, Dr Chota Motala, A.S. Chetty and Dr Vasu Chetty.

After the first democratic elections in 1994 he was elected administrator of the northern areas parliamentary constituency office under the leadership of then members of parliament Yusuf Bhamjee and Yunus Carrim.

Bhamjee said that since the 1980s Ndyebo had been entrusted with the responsibility of addressing the needs of the poorest of the poor.

He focused on rent evictions, labour relations, water and electricity cuts, pensions, social grants, school admissions and the plight of the informal communities.

“No one was turned away without Elliot finding a way forward, and people called at the ANC constituency office knowing that Elliot would do his best to help them.”

Bhamjee said that over time councillors, municipal officials, community leaders and the legal and teaching fraternities developed a healthy respect for the constituency officer.

Ndyebo’s dedication to his task was seen in the type of skills and training he acquired over the years.

After matriculating in 2004, he attained a national certificate in office management, a secretarial certificate and a paralegal diploma from Damelin College. He did a course in labour law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Bhamjee said during the local and national elections, Ndyebo was a key election strategist.

During the last two elections he was recruited by the ANC provincial team to monitor and compile the database of the party’s 16 000 party agents in the province.

Ndyebo loved jazz and gospel music and was a supporter of Kaizer Chiefs. He leaves his wife, Phindiwe Gladys Mahlaba-Ndyebo.

There will be a memorial service for Elliot Ndyebo in the Truro Hall in Khan Road at 5 pm today.

His funeral will take place on Sunday, September 30, at 10 am at his home in Bizana in the Eastern Cape.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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