Media Statement - 22 June 2012

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has paid tribute to the late ANC stalwart and former fellow Robben Island inmate, George Sithole, who died recently in KwaZulu-Natal, describing him as a shining example of dedication to the struggle for a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.

Sexwale says Sithole will be remembered as someone who engaged robustly in debates without fear or favour. "Sometimes he was regarded as controversial, however that controversy was in search of solutions to the many challenges faced by our people and the mass democratic movement as evidenced by his activities during the UDF days.

"It is the revolutionary duty of all of us, in the memory of George, to dispel the myth perpetuated by those who distort the ANC by giving an impression that our comrades in KwaZulu-Natal are all of a sudden supposed to be regarded as some kind of tribalists.

"Such vulgarization of our struggle needs to be rubbished as an insult to all our members who have manned the trenches in the struggle against apartheid in general, and tribalism in particular against vicious odds.

"Many of our comrades in KwaZulu-Natal fell in the struggle in order to ensure that the ANC lives and that tribal and Bantustan politics are eliminated from our landscape. In the name of George Sithole the distortion must be rejected with all the contempt it deserves.

"Although during the milieu of post-Polokwane, George lost his way by joining COPE, the true comrade in him made him to retrace his footsteps and without any fear of being ridiculed, returned back home. His family will be proud to see him being buried in the black, green and gold colours of his organization, the African National Congress.

"We shall miss him. May his memory live forever.”

Issued by Xolani Xundu, for more information call 083 788 5747

Press Release Date: 
Friday, June 22, 2012