The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape is deeply saddened by the passing away of former COSAS 9 student activist in the early 80’s and Brigadier – General in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Comrade Khaya Makina. Cde Makina passed away on Thursday, 25th March 2021 whilst on official duty attending the Army Command Council work session Rhemardo in the Limpopo Province.
Khaya Makina nom de geure (Joe Mavi) was born in New Brighton on the 6th June 1964 from a very strong Roman Catholic family, his parents Nobandla and Zenzile Makina. who have passed away. A second born of 4 children, Thobeka (may her soul rest in peace), Luthando and Simpiwe. Amongst the schools he attended includes Newell and Ikhwezi Lomso High School. Comrade Makina was the current incumbent General Officer Commanding (GOC) SA Army Artillery Formation. It is through the teachings of the Catholic Church that his political career started, being a member of the Young Christian Workers (YCW). He learnt that as a son born from a working class family he cannot ignore the struggles and challenges of the education of the black child which amongst others included but not limited to, the introduction of age limit by the apartheid bantu education to exclude African children from furthering their education and the different education systems based on race.
In 1984 he was elected to the leadership of Congress of South African Student (COSAS) under the banner of “EACH ONE TEACH ONE” which led the school boycotts and making the country ungovernable. This was the generation of young lions that resuscitated and provided leadership to the mobilization of the oppressed black students of the South Africa in particular and youth in general. The militant and the strategic leadership of COSAS faced the brutal forces of apartheid armed to teeth, but the youth remained not intimidated, unmoved and continued to be a thorn in flash of the apartheid regime.
As expected his involvement triggered harsh response from the apartheid government that led to detentions and later charged with other COSAS leaders popularly known as “COSAS 9” which comprised of Boy Jijana, Brenda Badela, Vuyani Vena, Thabo Ndlovu, Xolani Yengeni, Thando Vinjiwe, Andile Yawa, Pamela Daniels and Nkosinathi Vakele. It was during this trial that it was clear that the apartheid regime wanted to silence Khaya and the entire leadership of COSAS. Comrade Khaya like many fearless youth of his time in Port Elizabeth , responded to the clarion call of President Oliver Tambo to render apartheid unworkable and make the country ungovernable. He was left with no choice, but to leave the country of his birth in 1985 to go and join the African National Congress (ANC) and its military wing uMkhonto weSizwe (MK).
Comrade Khaya left the country, crossing the border into the Kingdom of Lesotho to join the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK). He was part of a generation that chose to fight, rather than submit, as called upon by the founding MK manifesto. Comrade Khaya completed his basic military training in the Republic of Angola where he specialized in Artillery and Ground Engineering. He underwent various formative and advanced military training programs. He was a Combat Action Platoon Commander at the Caculama Camp in Malange, Malanje Province in Angola as well as an Engineering Platoon Commander from 1985. In 1987 Cde Khaya attended a Russian Ground Tactical Artillery Commanders Course at the Simferopol Military Combined College in Crimean Oblast, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and he completed the program in 1991.
He was deployed to the People’s Republic of Tanzania in 1992 and was posted as he Training Officer of Umkhonto Wesizwe’s Iringa Camp from 1992 to 1993. He returned to South Africa in 1994 just before the political breakthrough of 27 April elections and became part of the National Peacekeeping Force serving as a Staff Officer. Comrade Khaya Makina integrated into the the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) at the rank of a Major on the 27th April 1994 at De Brug, Bloemfontein and went on to complete the Bridging Course at Air Defense Artillery School. He was elevated to the higher echelons of SA Army Artillery and served at various posts as a Senior Staff Officer until his appointment as Chief of Staff at the SA Army Artillery Formation Headquarters on 1st January 2014, and therefore as GOC in January 2016. He was a decorated Gunner who was awarded the Unitas Medal, Medalje vir Troue Diens with 20 years Bar and Good Service Medal in Bronze.
ANC Eastern Cape dips its revolutionary banner in honour of Comrade Khaya Makina, we do so proudly to celebrate the glorious life of this distinguished soldier and loyal servant of the people of South Africa.
We send our sincere heartfelt condolences to his family, comrades and the entire Mass Democratic Movement.
He leaves behind his wife, two children, four grandchildren and two brothers.
Issued by :
ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Communications
Provincial Head of Communications
Mobile No :0848439706/0849519924