Death robs a soul, not memory

2015-06-18 06:01

The late Tobias Bhaji Phoswa’s funeral service will be held at Gugs Sports Complex on Saturday.

The late Tobias Bhaji Phoswa’s funeral service will be held at Gugs Sports Complex on Saturday.

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On 10th June 2015 at the Lingelihle Hostels, Gugulethu lost one of its dear sons, Mzwandile Tobias Poswa.

He succumbed to a natural illness. Death had robbed Gugulethu of one of its pioneers for freedom.

Tobias was a true son of the soil, an individual passionate about the plight of his people.

A daring dancer from Luyolo centre, ipantsula lomhlaba is no more. A soccer lover, soiled in the true traditions of non- racial sport, he fought and believed during the dark days of Apartheid that there will be “no normal sport in an abnormal society”.

In that he held the non-racial banner under the National Sports Congress high together with some of his colleagues like Pillay Mati, the late ‘Sto’Jaxa, Tito Ndamoyi,

and Dayi Matshaya Plaatjie to name but a few.

In Section 3, Tobias was one of the key people in the Thembisa Football Club, in every soccer match that Thembisa played in those days, you would find Tobias on the touch lines, cheering them on.

He participated in the structures of the United Democratic Front at the time and when the ANC was unbanned he became one of those founding members of the Dorothy Zihlangu Branch in Gugulethu.

Tobias was a very keen debater, whether it was in politics or soccer, never ready to lose an argument, he was an ardent supporter of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club.

Take a walk down to Cash’s Place and ask Mvathuli or Paki whether as Orlando Pirates supporters they were ever able to overwhelm Tobias in a debate, and the reply would be a resounding No!.

Devout ANC man

He was an honest human being in whatever he believed in, he later became chairperson of the ANC branch in Ward 44 of the ANC Florence Beshenga Branch.

At the same time he was the Chairperson of the Committee where he stayed at Lingelihle Hostels. He was also actively coordinating the Backyarders Movement in his ward, fighting for decent houses.

A devout member of the African National Congress, Tobias was selfless in whatever he did, and was a true example of a commitment to better the lives of our people without expecting material gain.

A rare species in our days where almost everybody wants to do everything for material gain.

A true cadre committed to the noble cause of freedom. A beacon from the working class has ceased to breathe.

Gugulethu and indeed the African National Congress have become poorer with his parting.

Mhlabandini awoneli!

As people who have worked closely with him over the years, we say “Death be not proud.”

Tobias’ legacy will live on! We challenge death’s pride because we know that even as it visit its wrath on all who live, it can never erase the memory of a person like “Bhaji”.

We challenge death’s vengeful pride because we know that whatever it might do it can never remove from our hearts the memories of our dear comrade Tobias. Death, we fear you not

I stand up to tell death that our black mourning dress is not a tribute to its vengeance, but a sign of eternal respect to his conscience of courage. Millions of other South Africans know that a cause as just as the one that Bhaji stood for, can never be defeated.

In our journey of life this is a painful episode of losing one of our freedom bones but we also know that all mortal life that is without end turns into curse.

Sibona kamhlophe sithi bekumele. Xa bekungenjalo bekungayi kulunga. Le nto kakade yinto yalonto. To us, Tobias, may have fallen but has not died. As our icon Madiba used to say: When a man feels that he has done his duty to his people and his nation, he rests in peace.

Nangoku sitsho sithi: umthi omkhulu uwile!

Hamba Kahle Nyana weSizwe, Hamba Kkahle mlweli wenkululeko, sohlala sikukhumbula!

When the roll of honour of the people who fought for a just South Africa appears, I am sure your name will occupy a special place.

)Mcebisi Skwatsha is the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Agriculture


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