The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape is deeply saddened by the passing away of struggle stalwart and former Mayor of King Williams Town Transitional Local Council (TLC), Comrade Ndumiso Helton Gola.
Comrade Ndumiso Gola passed away on Christmas day (25 December 2021) in hospital after a short illness.
Comrade Ndumiso Gola was an activist throughout his life, both in the struggle to end apartheid and, after 1994 in the struggle for a better life for all the downtrodden of this country. His political activism started in 1975 whilst a student at Siseko Secondary School at Perksdale e Debe Nek and Kama High School at Middledrift. Whilst at Siseko he was recruited to underground by Comrade Milner Ntsangani. In 1980 he went to work in the mining industry and became active in organizing the formation of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). In 1983 he returned back to Eastern Cape and joined King Williams Town Cultural Club at Zwelitsha under the auspices of United Democratic Front (UDF) and worked with many comrades such as Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile, Mluleki George, Dickson Matika, Sindisile Maclean, Ndyebo Nase, Tinka Kopo, Mhlophe Bongophi, Jerry Ndudula, Simphiwe Dzengwa, Bandile Maqethuka, Mxolisi Poswa, Phakamisa Hobongwana. and many others. In the underground unit , Comrade Gola worked with Vukile Ntlebi, Mbulelo Ngxesha, Mfanelo Ndlela, Wycliff Ndlela, Mzwakhe Ndlela, Phila Ngqumba, Ndyebo Nase, Khaya Mabhece, Shoes Mkebe, Boy Nkumbi, Bahleli Madikane, Prince Mame, Jerry Ndudula, Simphiwe Dzengwa, Bandile Maqethuka, Mxolisi Poswa and Phakamisa Hobongwana.
Comrade Gola was detained by the Ciskei security police at Keiskamahoek in 1987 after he was caught holding a UDF meeting with Smuts Ngonyama and Ntsiki Maliti. He was detained without trial for a year after a clampdown by apartheid regime through the declaration of the state of emergency. Comrade Gola and his peers were highly politically trained and organised, and could skilfully form structures that combined both overt civic campaigns and clandestine ANC activities. Their activism kept the spirit of the congress movement alive under difficult political conditions and repression in the late 70s and early 80s.
He held various positions in the UDF local such as General Secretary, Organizer, Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson and also served with Ginsberg Civic Association, ANC Youth League and Chairperson of the King Williams Town ANC Sub-Region. He was involved in underground political work, coordinating self defense units in rural villages of the so – called Ciskei bantutstan and in various townships such as Zwelitsha, Phakamisa, Ndevana, Ilitha, Ginsberg, Peelton and reporting to Steve Vukile Tshwete, Skenjana Roji and Makhenkesi Stofile.
ANC deployed Comrade Gola as the Mayor of the King Williams Town Transitional Council (TLC) in 1995 whilst serving in the King Williams Town Executive Committee of the ANC.
Comrade Gola was passionate about education hence he obtained Diploma in Labour Law in October 2001 at the Graduate Institute of Management and Technology. He further enrolled for Advanced Diploma in Program and Project Management at Cranfield College in 2018 and graduated with Masters in Public Administration from Fort Hare University in 2014. He worked at Department of Sport, Recreation Arts and Culture as Deputy Director :Museum, Heritage and Administration from 1997 – April 2000. He was later appointed Chief of Staff at the MEC’S Office (Social Development) from April 2000 to July 2000 and also acted as HOD and Chief Director :HR & Finance respectively. His career growth saw him appointed Senior Manager :Human Resources at Department of Social Development from August 2000 to May 2006. He got appointed as a Senior Manager :Integrated Strategic Planning – Department of Social Development in June 2006, a position he held until his retirement in 2019.
He lived his life as a committed and disciplined democratic activist and served as a role model to all who are committed to liberty and justice. Comrade Gola was schooled in the culture of sacrifice, dedication and commitment, a culture of putting the ANC and what it stands for above personal interests and ambitions.
We share this moment of deep loss with Sis Nomatemba Nosolomzi Gola, Bhuti Ndumi’s soulmate and source of strength. Sisi Thembsie has made monumental contributions in her own right in the fight against apartheid in this country, gender equality and to the development of our democracy. She supported Bhuti Ndumi until his passing on Christmas day.
We dip our revolutionary banner in honour of this hero of our revolution. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Gola family and friends, to comrades he served with in the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM) formations and the entire liberation movement.
May you find solace in the knowledge that Comrade Gola will always be our treasure and hero, inspiring us as well as generations to come, never to steer away from the traditions and values of the Congress Movement , and from working to build a better, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.
He lives behind his wife, Sisi Nomathemba, five children, three grandchildren and five siblings.
Memorial Service will be on Thursday, 30th December 2021 at War Memorial Hall eQonce.
Issued by :
ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Communications
Provincial Head of Communications
Mobile No :0848439706/0849519924