The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape is deeply saddened by the passing away of its former Organizer , trade unionist and struggle stalwart , Comrade Sicelo Ndevu.
Comrade Sicelo Ndevu passed away on Thursday 23 November 2023 after a short illness. He was the Regional Organizer of the ANC Amathole Region for many years.
His activism commenced from the period he started working at Frame Group textile company in 1968. His political conviction led him to join the trade union movement and became an active member. He was fired from his job in 1974 after he was aligned with the historic Durban textile strike in 1973 . He became an Organizer of the Textile Industrial Union in East London.
Amongst stalwarts who worked with Cde Ndevu are seasoned activists such as Ben Ntingana, Joe Mati, Mgabela , Sobandla, Hobana, Qwati and Malgid Ntlebi who played an important role in his life.
He later led the Black and Allied Workers Union (BLAWU) as a worker and leader in 1977 and was also an active internationalist trade unionist who cut his teeth at organising for SAAWU in 1979. Comrade Ndevu was bundled in and out of prison as his political conviction inspired him to lead the fight against apartheid. He was incarcerated and detained at Cambridge police station without trial under section 50 of communism act. The brutal Ciskei police moved him to serve time at Dimbaza prison together with his trade union comrades , Sam Nube and Ndodomzi Camagu. He was later sent to Grahamstown’s Vaineck Prison with Yure Mdyogolo who was the first NEHAWU General Secretary and later were together transferred to St Albans prison in Port Elizabeth .
Ndevu was a seasoned campaigner and his activism etched his name in the annals of once vibrant Border Region . SAAWU nominated him to organise workers at Rhodes University in Grahamstown and was mandated to open SAAWU branch in the institution. He continued to recruit workers in Port Elizabeth where he opened SAAWU branch at Kostern working with Shuta Mkhongi, Tex Gaba , Mthwabo Ndube and Phila Nkayi and shared a house with Stone Sizani. He groomed many young leaders of COSAS then and worked with the current ANC Secretary General , Cde Fikile Mbalula who assisted Cde Ndevu in translation from Sotho to Xhosa for SAAWU members in the Free State in 1983. He understood the imperative of international solidarity to unite the workers of the world in order to advance worker’s struggle beyond national, cultural and racial boundaries.
Comrade Ndevu shaped his thinking and desire to pursue a socialist society wherein he dreamt and fought for a world where all the means of production, including land, belong to and are commanded by the people. Comrade Ndevu was a well-rounded activist who was one of a few who were involved in all the facets and pillars of our Alliance and the National Democratic Revolution.
Cde Ndevu was a humble reservoir of knowledge of the struggles of our people and the practical solutions of the challenges they confront , and was an embodiment of our alliance having served in the civic and labour movement as well as in the SACP and in the ANC as an Organizer for many years in Amathole Region.
We send our heartfelt condolences to the Ndevu family , relatives, friends and comrades . We we hope that you find solace in the knowledge that your father is the pride of our Congress Movement. We owe him our victory, which would have been long delayed had it been not for his enormous contributions.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS-EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE
Cde Gift Ngqondi
Provincial Head of Communications
Mobile No :?0849519924 /?0848439706