Gwala’s family celebrate his life

2010-08-02 00:00

THE family of the late African National Congress stalwart, Harry Themba Gwala, held an annivesary celebration to commemorate his life at his homestead in Dambuza on Saturday.

The family also wanted their neighbours and friends to see the Mendi Decoration for Bravery, which was presented by President Jacob Zuma on Freedom Day (April 27) to honour Gwala’s role in the fight against apartheid. They wanted to show the medal to those who were close to Gwala before it is handed over to the African National Congress.

Gwala was born on July 30, 1925, and died on June 20, 1995, after suffering a heart attack.

Those in attendance were shown a video of Gwala addressing a crowd inthe early nineties, telling them: “When we seal this marriage in the new democratic dispensation, we must do it in such a way that we build a society where people are judged on merit rather than their skin colour. We shall build a South Africa that has no superior race.”

His younger brother, Bishop Caiphus Gwala (83), said: “Our father encouraged us to go to school because he believed that education is the key that will open doors for us in the future.

“My brother completed his teaching diploma at Adams College and he taught at Slangspruit. He then joined the [Communist Party] in 1942 and the ANC two years later because he could not sit and do nothing while black people were being ill-treated by the previous regime.”

He hailed his brother for having sacrificed 21 years of his life to see his countrymen living in a free democratic South Africa.

Harry Gwala’s son, Linda, told The Witness: “As a family we are very happy to see our father being honoured by the national government for his hard-fought sacrifices he made for the people of this country.”

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