Mtshali was a 'well-rounded' activist - Dlamini-Zuma

2018-10-21 19:18
Eric Mtshali (File, Daily Sun)

Eric Mtshali (File, Daily Sun)

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There was no task to small nor too huge for struggle stalwart Eric “Stalin” Mtshali, Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said.  

Dlamini-Zuma delivered Mtshali's eulogy at the special official funeral on Sunday in Durban.  

Mtshali, 84, died at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban after a long illness, the ANC confirmed last week.

Dlamini-Zuma described Mtshali as a "well-rounded" activist, saying he was one of the few who were involved in all the "facets and pillars of our Alliance and the National Democratic Revolution".  

She said Mtshali had been a member of the Central Committee of the Party since the early 1970s serving the party "selflessly" for some six decades.  

"We have heard how he became one of the first volunteers of Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK) and his willingness to possibly pay the ultimate price for his beliefs and convictions.  

"We have heard of his involvement in many battles of our glorious people’s army, including his being bestowed the great and historic honour, by comrade President OR, to assist the ‘Luthuli Detachment’, which was the first ever detachment of the MK," she said.    

Dlamini-Zuma also said the task of shaping the national democratic society benefited from Mtshali's "vigour, enthusiasm and wisdom".  

"He was consistent in reminding us that the task of mobilising progressive motive forces towards a just and equal society is an objective in itself.  

"Humour was an effective tool in the hands of comrade Stalin and his steady guiding hand was an important feature as we took and implemented our resolutions to improve the social wage through housing, school feeding scheme, access to free health care, free basic electricity, social grants, and expanding infrastructure to rural areas and townships."

Dlamini-Zuma also added that Mtshali lived by the mantra of unity. She said he was "deeply hurt" by factionalism in the movement.  

"Being the embodiment of our alliance having served in the civic and labour movements as well as in the SACP and in the ANC, comrade Stalin was also deeply disturbed by the disunity he recently witnessed in the Alliance.

"It is now upon us to pick up the spear and continue with the revitalisation of our movement so that we may be united in action towards securing a far better quality life for our people," she said.   

News24 previously reported that Mtshali joined the South African Communist Party in 1957 and helped form uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC, in 1961.He was the first editor of The Dawn magazine – the military mouthpiece of the SACP – from 1965 to 1969, where he worked closely with slain SACP leader Chris Hani.

During this period, he helped form the ANC's intelligence division and was involved in several intelligence operations.

He was appointed as a member of Parliament for the ANC in 2004.

Mtshali sat on the parliamentary committees on labour, higher education and training, and human settlements.Mtshali is survived by his wife Gcinile Kunene and daughter Lindiwe Mtshali, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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