The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) has learnt with sadness the passing of its National Spokesperson, Comrade Khaya Xaba. Comrade Xaba passed away in the early hours of this morning due to illness complications.

The national union is deeply saddened by his death and conveys its deep and heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and comrades in the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM). We wish his family strength and courage in this period of dealing with this dark hour.

His passing is not only a loss to the national union but workers in general especially at this critical moment when workers are confronted with third wave of COVID-19. When members and workers were losing their lives due to the pandemic, it was Comrade Xaba through the union that was in the forefront in communicating and exposing the deteriorating conditions workers had to endure. Equally when the government had embarked on an agenda of weakening collective bargaining and reversing the gains and rights of workers, Cde Xaba spent his time articulating our positions and championed the interest of workers using his craft as a highly skilled and excellent communicator.

Comrade Xaba joined NEHAWU in 2016 as a media liaison officer coming from the ranks of the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) were his craft as an excellence and prolific communicator was moulded. Due to his dedication, commitment and hard-work, Comrade Xaba was subsequently promoted to the position of a National Spokesperson and continued to diligently serve the national union and workers in particular.

He dedicated his life in defending the interest of workers – for better conditions of service and spent his time in defending the gains of workers against a brutal system of exploitation.

Apart from being a national spokesperson, Comrade Xaba was also an activist for social transformation who understood that society progress through a class-struggle and this was evident with him through his participating in the mass democratic movement in various capacities.

Cde. Xaba served in different structures of the Young Communist League (YCLSA) in Gauteng. Having served as a District Executive Committee Member of the Young Communist League of South African Communist Party (YCLSA) in the Oupa Phasha District in Gauteng and was also elected as a Provincial Executive Committee Member of YCLSA Gauteng Province.

Cde Xaba as an activist with an internationalist orientation was also highly active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel for a Free Palestine.

In his honour, NEHAWU will intensify the struggle to end all forms of exploitation of workers by employers including defending collective bargaining which is currently under threat from our government.

Death has once again robbed us of one of our own. This further necessitates for all of us for his name to be more vigilant and to protect ourselves and our loved ones. In this regard, we continue to appeal to all our people to a wear mask, sanitise their hands and to observe social distancing.

NEHAWU dips its banners at the passing of its National Spokesperson and will send details of the memorial and funeral service as soon as they are available.

NEHAWU says “lala ngoxolo Nonkosi, Shwabada, ugqatso ulufezile”

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

Posted in Media Statements
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