High praise for ANC's Khabisi Mosunkutu at memorial service


Former Gauteng MEC Khabisi Mosunkutu was praised during a memorial service held in his honour in Pimville, Soweto, on Friday for his hard work and commitment.

Mosunkutu, 68, who served under several portfolios as an MEC in the province, died on December 24 after a long illness.

Among the accomplishments he was remembered for was quelling taxi violence in the province during his time as MEC for community safety. 

Many taxi ranks around the province were shut down and Mosunkutu ordered taxi associations to negotiate and find common ground to end the violence.

During his 11-year tenure at the provincial legislature, from which he resigned in 2011, Mosunkutu served as MEC for community safety, public transport, roads and works as well as agriculture, conservation and environment. 

READ: Khabisi Mosunkutu to get special provincial official funeral

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali remembered Mosunkutu for his role in the formation of organisations including the United Democratic Front.

"He was also there during the formation of Cosatu. When doing these things there was no price. He did that for his love of his people. Trade unionists are not exposed in corruption and tender scandals. He will rest in peace because we all know that his name won't be mentioned in the Zondo commission [of inquiry into state capture].

'Courage and commitment'

"He loved the taxi industry and ensured that it progressed," he said.   

Former MEC and friend Mary Metcalfe said it was a great honour to have worked with Mosunkutu.

"I am happy that both his families, which are his family and the ANC, are here today. Mosunkutu and other leaders played a vital role in the formation of Gauteng province. It is indeed a great honour to have worked with him in the legislature where we spent sleepless nights.

"He had huge courage and commitment to liberate South Africa. He was among many leaders who gave us the opportunity to build this country for all of us. He worked very hard to understand the frustrations of our people and turned those frustrations into expressions of hope," she said.

READ: Former Gauteng MEC Khabisi Mosunkutu dies on Christmas Eve

Metcalfe added that Mosunkutu was a trusted leader who sacrificed much without the thought of being rewarded.

ANC Women's League provincial chairperson and MEC for sport, arts and recreation Faith Mazibuko said they had a lost a gentle giant, a leader and a father who raised many young women in the ANC.

Mazibuko said Mosunkutu never discriminated against anyone in the party.

"He was able to assist us as young women in political teachings. He was able to recognise oppression against women. He fought for women to have maternity leave with full benefits. Unlike today, where maternity [leave] is only paid for four months, the other two months are deducted from UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) contributions.

Representative of the people

"We want fathers to be entitled to receive payments for paternity leave too. Today, as women we are proud to have been served by him in the ANC. He represented everyone," said Mazibuko.

ANC provincial treasurer in Gauteng Parks Tau said Mosunkutu was a representative of the people who fought for their freedoms, but that the battle was far from over.

"We can't say we are there yet when there is an absence of opportunities which are determined by gender, race and class. We are not there yet when the African race earn a quarter of an income earned by their white counterparts,"he said.

"We are only free to vote but not free from hunger, poverty, premature mortality and illnesses simply because we are black and poor. We will only be free when we know that opportunities to prosper are equitable."

Tau praised President Cyril Ramaphosa for bringing change and said the country was witnessing a new dawn as promised by the president.  

Mosunkutu's provincial official funeral is scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 3, in Soweto. 

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