Struggle stalwart’s legacy continues

2016-10-27 06:00
Photo: supplied Paying their respects at the funeral are ANC senior members Zweli Mkhize, Sihle Zikalala, Pravin Gordhan and Zandile Gumede.

Photo: supplied Paying their respects at the funeral are ANC senior members Zweli Mkhize, Sihle Zikalala, Pravin Gordhan and Zandile Gumede.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THE spirit of patriotism and an astute ability to distinguish between the truth and fallacy have always been part and parcel of struggle veteran Mewallal “Mewa” Ramgobin.

The apartheid activist and former president of the Natal Indian Congress was laid to rest in Verulam this week.

Ramgobin (83), the former ANC MP and ex-husband of human right activist Ela Gandhi - the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi - died in Cape Town on 17 October. According to the Ramgobin family, Mewa’s wish was that his final send-off should be from his birthplace, Inanda.

Family spokesperson Satish Dhupelia (63) told the Weekly that Mewa’s wish was to see South Africa winning the battle against poverty and inequality.

“Although he must have stopped his political involvement, he never stopped giving us and other people lessons on politics. In our recent discussion he said this country won the battle against apartheid, but the battle on inequality and poverty is not over yet,” he said.

Mewa’s family described him as a family man who would always put people’s lives first.

“He was a proper family man and full of lessons. He would give people talks on South African history and politics. He grew up in Inanda near Verulam. He moved to Cape Town in 1994 and he spent his time in Cape Town with his family,” he said.

Top brass of the ANC, family members and residents attended the funeral and paid tribute to the ANC stalwart, who was banned for 17 years and put under house arrest for 12 during the apartheid regime. Senior leaders of the ANC Zweli Mkhize (treasure-general), Pravin Gordhan (NEC member), Sihle Zikalala (provincial chairperson), Zandile Gumede (mayor of eThekwini Municipality and regional chairperson of the ANC) attended the funeral.

The ANC said in a statement Ramgobin was courageous freedom fighter and an uncompromising non racialist.

“His involvement in the struggle for liberation came at a heavy price for his family as they narrowly escaped death from a parcel bomb in 1973.

“He was a founding member of the committee for Clemency in 1970, which campaigned for the release of the late president Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. He chaired the Phoenix Settlement Trust, which is the custodian of the Gandhi home in Inanda. As co-treasurer of the UDF, Mewa was detained on a charge of high treason in 1984.”

When he was acquitted in 1985, Mewa and other ANC veterans, including United Democratic Front leader Archie Gumede, Paul David, Billy Nair, George Sewpershad and other members occupied the British Consulate in Durban.

He was a member of the ANC until his retirement in 2009. Ramgobin and political veterans fought for liberation that forced the apartheid regime to release political prisoners, including the late Nelson Mandela in 1990.

Mewa leaves behind his wife Mariam, ex-wife Ela Gandhi and children Kidar, Asha, Arthi, Ashish and Imthian.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.