Nehawu spokesperson Khaya Xaba dies

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  • Nehawu national spokesperson Khaya Xaba died early on Sunday morning.
  • Nehawu said Xaba died due to "illness complications".
  • Xaba's close friend and colleague Richard Mamabolo described Xaba as a great friend and human being.

Spokesperson for the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) Khaya Xaba has died.

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The union said he had died in the early hours of Sunday morning due to "illness complications".

"The national union is deeply saddened by his death and conveys its deep and heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and comrades in the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM). We wish his family strength and courage in this period of dealing with this dark hour," the Cosatu-affiliated union said in a statement.

While in hospital last week, Xaba tweeted: "Covid is not joke. Wash your hands, sanitise and avoid crowded place. Protect yourself and your loved ones." Messages of support and well wishes followed his tweet.

His close friend Richard Mamabolo, spokesperson for the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), described Xaba as a great human being. The two first worked together while at the Young Communist League (YCLSA) many years ago.

"He was a bubbly person. Khaya was kind, happy and never grumpy. He was one of those people who would make you feel happy just being around him. We lost a good comrade," Mamabolo said.

Xaba joined Nehawu as a media liaison officer in 2016.

"Due to his dedication, commitment and hard-work, Comrade Xaba was subsequently promoted to the position of a National Spokesperson and continued to diligently serve the national union and workers in particular," Nehawu said.

"Apart from being a national spokesperson, Comrade Xaba was also an activist for social transformation who understood that society progress through a class-struggle and this was evident with him through his participating in the mass democratic movement in various capacities."

Details of the memorial service and funeral will follow soon.

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