Government mourns struggle stalwart

Friday, October 12, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his sadness at the passing away of the liberation struggle stalwart, veteran trade unionist and former Member of Parliament Eric “Stalin” Mtshali.

“I offer my sincerest condolences to the family, friends and comrades of uBaba Eric ‘Stalin’ Mtshali, with whom we share the loss of an extraordinary activist and leader whose illustrious life story and patriotic contribution we shall never forget,” Ramaphosa said.

The Durban-born Mtshali passed away on Friday at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital after a long illness. He was 87-years-old.

In 2015, Mtshali received the National Order of Mendi for Bravery in Silver for “his excellent contribution to the fight against apartheid. In spite of great risks, he was never deterred in his quest for true freedom and social justice”.

Mtshali spent 30 years in exile after joining the African National Congress and in 1961, was part of the Congress Alliance’s group which founded uMkhonto we Sizwe.

The Presidency said he was a member of the Freedom Charter signing committee and was based in Tanzania during his decades in exile – a period during which he received political and military training in Egypt and the then Soviet Union.

“Following his return to South Africa in 1991, Mtshali served as the Deputy-Commissioner of Criminal Intelligence in KwaZulu-Natal between 1995 and 2000.

“He became an ANC councillor in the Ethekwini municipality in 2000 and served as a Member of Parliament from 2004, distinguishing himself as a member of the portfolio committees on Labour, Higher Education and Training and Human Settlements,” the Presidency said.

Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Acting Director General Phumla Williams said Mtshali played a very crucial role on the road to South Africa’s democracy.

“He provided excellent contribution to the fight against apartheid in spite of great risks and was never deterred in his quest for true freedom and social justice,” Williams said. –