The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the Eastern Cape has learnt with shock of the brutal murder of our Provincial Deputy Chairperson, Comrade Lizo Vakala.
Comrade Vakala went missing on Saturday, 22nd October 2022 and his body was discovered on Tuesday around the Motherwell area in Gqeberha. The union is deeply disturbed that he has lost life under this mysterious circumstances.
NEHAWU in the Eastern Cape sends its deepest and sincere condolences to his family, friends and comrades in the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM). Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. We wish them hope in the midst of sorrow, comfort in the midst of pain.
As NEHAWU, we dip our banner in honour of this hero and working-class leader who served NEHAWU with distinction. Comrade Sir Vaks as he was affectionately known had been bravely active in worker struggles since the early eighties [80s], he joined NEHAWU in 1987. As a trade union activist, he remained a worker leader and a shopsteward covering a period of more than 30 years.
Comrade Vakala served as a Regional Chairperson of Thabo Moshoeshoe for more than 3 terms and was elected as the Provincial Deputy Chairperson in May 2021. He also served as the Chairperson of the Vuyisile Mini COSATU Local in the PE area. At the time of death, he was an employee of SASSA at Motherwell Service Office.
Comrade Vakala was an embodiment of the alliance, he also served in the African National Congress [ANC]. He was elected in the ANC Nelson Mandela Regional Executive Committee (REC) in 2002 and got re -elected again in 2006. In 2014, he was appointed to serve in the ANC Nelson Mandela Regional Task Team (RTT) in 2014, clearly demonstrating his leadership capability.
His passing takes place when workers under a relentless attack from our government which has made it its task to reverse and roll-back the gains made by workers over the years. His passing occurs when the working class masses need to heighten the tempo of our revolution.
Comrade Vakala devoted his life to fighting for workers’ rights and improving their lives. He courageously led the working class struggle from the front and served the union diligently.
NEHAWU will remember Comrade Vakala as selfless, humble and visionary leader who devoted his life to the total liberation of his people. In his honour, the union will intensify the struggle to defend collective bargaining and the rights of workers.
NEHAWU dips its banner at the passing of this exceptional leader of the working class.