Today, we are gathered here, to accompany to its final resting place, the mortal remains of one of the outstanding heroic sons of our national liberation movement, Cde Wiseman Sontana Ntombela . We are celebrating a remarkable life of a distinguished true soldier of our national democratic revolution.
We are accompanying to its final resting place, the mortal remains of a warrior, a revolutionary, a musician, and the most disciplined and committed volunteer of our struggle for the liberation of the people of our country. Forever in our hearts and minds, we shall cherish the memories of the heroism and exemplary leadership of this fallen combatant of our glorious army.
On behalf of the leadership of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress, we convey our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and relatives. We convey our condolences to the people of IIzingolweni, to the traditional leaders, traditional healers, business and church communities, to the leadership and membership of the ANC and its Alliance partners, the people of the kingdom of Kwazulu Natal and the whole of the people of our country.
Though human thought and imaginations cannot apprehend his noble contribution to the cause of our struggle for the dignity and freedom of our people, he belonged to the category of the few, but the rare spices, within the ranks of our revolutionary movement. He embodies a life of a calm, self reliant and undaunted revolutionary, whose narrative, remains a true history, of the struggle of our people against colonial oppression and exploitation.
This selfless servant of the masses of our people, went into exile where he received military training in Angola and the former Soviet Union. He rose through the ranks of UMKHONTO we Ziswe, where he carried with distinction, some of the most difficult tasks of our movement.
Some of the episodes of his magnificent contribution and extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism, shall compose the chapters of the history books, which shall be a living testimony, of the true history of the struggles of our people. He was indeed like an eagle that dares to places where some will never see.
His was a character of a special mould, from the melting pots of the strategy and tactics of our revolutionary warfare. During one of his spectacular missions in the underground, he was involved in a shootout with the security police, in an operation which saw two police officers loosing their dear lifes.
As a result of this fatal encounter with the security forces, he was arrested and taken to Kwamashu police station, where he later made a daring escape. He understood well that the skirmish warranted a death sentence and therefore had to employ all avenues, to escape from the prison cells.
He painstakingly stole from the belt of the policeman guarding him, a key of the door of the prison cell he was supposed to be incarcerated in. The police officer could not detect that the key of the prison cell was not more in his possession.
At the middle of the night, when the police officer who was guarding his prison cell fell asleep, he immediately used that moment to confiscate his R1 automatic rifle. It was indeed a life and death moment in the eyes of this beautiful soldier of our revolution.
Aware that the security branch will be coming to interrogate him later in the night, he awaited for them and held the two interrogators, who he together held hostage with the other police officer guarding him. He took from them the keys of the main gate through which he made his daring escape.
There was a massive police hunt throughout the township of Kwamashu and the surrounding vicinity. He managed to stay in a safe house for three weeks in the township, from where he skipped through the border, into the neighboring Swaziland.
Indeed, his was a heroic contribution of the most disciplined soldier, of the glorious army of our national liberation movement. A heroic contribution of one of the most selfless and loyal servant of the struggle of our people.
The occasion of the farewell of the mortal remains of this great revolutionary of our times, is taking place during one of the most important days in the calendar of our struggle. An important day, of the first sun rise, of a South Africa, without the shadow of the mother of our nation, Cde Wennie Madikezela Mandela.
This will forever be the most memorable day, and a day of great significance to narrate the beautiful stories, about the contribution of these great heroes and heroines of our glorious movement, during the difficult path of our struggle for the liberation of our people. We are indeed grateful of her generosity to champion for the genuine struggle of our people.
We also send our warm words of gratitude and condolences, to the families of both Cdes George Nene and Zola Skwayiya, two of the most devoted leaders of our movement, who passed on during the past few days. Our movement, our revolutionary alliance and the people of our country, bow their respects, in memory of these gallant fighters, during this difficult moment of grief. May their soul rest in peace.
We are accompanying the mortal remains of Cde Wiseman, to its final resting place, few days after the people of the world, the continent and our country, celebrated the anniversary of the brutal murder of the heroic young lion of our revolution, Cde Solomon Mahlangu. Marching with pride into the gallows of the apartheid state, defeating the adversity of death before his eyes, he said the following profound words” Mama, Mama, tell my people that I love them very much, tell them that my blood will nourish a tree which will bear the fruits of liberation”.
We accompany the mortal remains of Cde Sontana, few days after the anniversary celebration of the murder of the late General Secretary of the SACP and the Chief of staff of our glorious army UMKHONTO we Ziswe, Chris Hani. We support the cal by his family and the South African Communist Party, that his assassins, should remain in jail until they confess the truth about the circumstances, which led to the assassination, of this great revolutionary of our movement.
We accompany the mortal remains of Cde Ntombela, to its final resting place, on the occasion of a memorable month of the passing on of our late President of the ANC, Cde Oliver Reginald Tambo. We salute the living memories of this great leader of our people and the longest serving President of our liberation movement.
We remember all the unsung heroes and heroines of our struggle, all of those who volunteered and perish in the trenches of our struggle, for the liberation of the overwhelming majority of the people, from Apartheid colonial domination and exploitation. We shall forever treasure their immense contribution to our noble struggle for the emancipation of humanity.
The people of our country, the continent and the world, have all the reasons to celebrate the magnificent lifes of these great monuments of our national liberation movement. We have all the reasons to celebrate the selfless acts of heroism, which saw the defeat of one of the most horrendous state in the history of humanity.
Our people have all the reasons to celebrate the determination of these gigantic leaders of our movement, to usher a new dawn of hope, of a new South Africa, which belongs to all who live in it. A non racial, non sexist, democratic, and prosperous South Africa, of a diverse nation, embraced by the common cause for the freedom and dignity of our people.
Cde Wiseman Ntombela, has always understood that the defeat of the apartheid regime, was not the end but the beginning of protracted struggles for the total liberation of our people, from the bondage of political oppression and economic exploitation. His high level political consciousness, prepared him to understand that power relations in society, is about political and economic emancipation.
He was amongst profound revolutionaries within the ranks of our movement, inspired by the theoretical preposition that political freedom without economic freedom is meaningless. He was indeed a true ambassador of the struggles of the second phase of our transition, for radical socio economic transformation.
Our historic 54th national elective conference, which took place in December 2017 at Nazareth, took decisive resolutions, declaring the present epoch of our democracy, as a second phase of our transition for radical socio economic transformation. The conference mandated the newly elected National Executive Committee, to expropriate land without compensation, and to provide free education to all the students from the working class families and the poor.
The conference took bold decisions to nationalise the Reserve bank, and to accelerate the transformation of the bulk of the South African economic landscape. We dare not to fail this historic mandate of the membership of the ANC and the people of our country, and we dare not fail them achieve the golden opportunity, of these important strategic objectives, of our national democratic revolution.
Contrary to the wishes of our adversaries, of those who are opposed to the noble cause of the struggle of our people, those who want to reduce the true meaning of our democracy, to be only for the singing of our national anthem, and the raising of our national flag, more than ever before, we are committed, to ensure that the majority of our people, are part of the ownership of the economy, in the land of their birth
The achievement of the strategic objectives of our national democratic revolution, is the heartbeat of our movement. Our common determination is to liberate our people from the shackles of poverty, disease and underdevelopment.
One of the overarching resolutions of our elective national conference, was the resolve to agitate for the unity and renewal of our national liberation movement. This is important because unity remains to be a precondition for the success of our national democratic revolution.
Without the unity and cohesion of our revolutionary movement in general and the revolutionary alliance in particular, it will be difficult a task, to consolidate the gains of our democratic breakthrough. Without unity of our membership and the people of our country, it will not be an easy task, to steer the impetus of our immediate objectives, for radical economic transformation.
There is a growing momentum from within and outside our own ranks, to undermine our collective effort for the unity and renewal of our movement. Our detractors are determined to bury our glorious national liberation movement into the dustbins of our history books.
In memory of this revolutionary, whose mortal remains are lying in state before us, we are making a call to all members of the ANC and the people of our country, to work together, and ensure that they defend this movement, which itself, represent the history of the struggle for national liberation. In memory of this gallant fighter, less work hard to isolate agent provocateurs, those whose mission, is to ensure that our movement does not see the light of the day.
But what is important is our understanding of this fundamental principle of unity and renewal. Unity and renewal of our movement is about making those who are from within happy, before you can bring others. Unity and renewal of our movement is about collective leadership and the desire to serve in the best interest of the wishes and aspirations of our people.
We must be worrisome of the growing phenomenon, of some from the ranks of our movement, of preaching unity and at the same time, fueling tendencies of disunity. We cannot achieve the noble objectives of unity and renewal, by forsaking fundamental principles of our movement.
Therefore it is in the best interest of the future of the people of our country, that we walk the talk of unity, not only to talk about it, but to walk and to walk about it. This is the only way to treasure this great movement of our people.
One of our renowned philosophers, Frederick Engels, says that one must not allow oneself to be misled by the cry of unity. Those who have this word on their lips, are the ones who sow the most dissension. The biggest brawlers and rogues at times shout the loudest for unity.
The unity of our movement and our people is about advancing the interests of the majority of our people and not our wishful thinking. Our unity and renewal must reflect the concrete realities of our struggle and not our wishful thinking.
The unity and renewal of our movement and our people is about radical socio economic transformation. It is about tilting the balance of forces in favor of the wishes and aspirations of the people of our country.
We will forever treasure the contribution of this gallant fighter of our revolution. His determination to lay down his own life for the freedom of our people goes beyond all human measure.
His grave shall become a monument decorated with flowers of bravery and remarkable medals of a true soldier. From now on through eternity, the thrones of the noble realms, will give thanks to his glorious acts of selflessness.
As the eyes of the coming generations turn back to pay its tribute to this great revolutionary, they shall enjoy the glory of a prosperous nation, whose its freedom and dignity is his epitaph. A nation whose its prosperity, peace and tranquility, shall be his everlasting memorial.
Hamba Kahle a true soldier of UMKHONTO we Ziswe, we shall take your spear and revolutionary courage, to accelerate our struggle for radical economic transformation.
Hamba Kahle Mkhonto.