The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape joins the people of Nelson Mandela Bay and the mass democratic movement in expressing its sincere condolences to the family, friends and comrades of struggle veteran, Comrade Robert Tlou. Comrade Robert Tlou passed away yesterday morning (Sunday, 6th December 2020) in Nelson Mandela Bay after a short illness.
Comrade Tlou joined the South African liberation struggle, motivated by the highest form of revolutionary development and his political activism started at Sophiatown in 1948 inspired by the likes of OR Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela. He later relocated to Port Elizabeth and worked alongside struggle stalwarts such as Silas Mtongana, Nangu and Comrade Mabandla in leading the late 50’s defiance campaign wherein they invaded segregated areas such as Deal Party post office to defy unjust laws.
Comrade Robert Tlou was arrested in November 1960 with Cde Tonjeni, Diniso and Sabana for their involvement in the Azikhwela Bus Boycott. In 1961 he was charged for arson, public violence and terrorism and later sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment. He was incacerated at the following jails (Polsmor prison and later transferred to Fort Glamoglan) kwaNongqongqo.
Upon his release from imprisonment, he continued his political activism driven by political conviction although under restrictions conditions which expected him to report to New Brighton Police Station. He was arrested once again in 1977 for alleged to be in possession of illegal documents and was detained for three (3)months at Grahamstown prison. Following the uprsiging of 1976, Comrade Tlou became one of the activists who was responsible for facilitating and transporting young and militant youth to join the ANC external mission in countries such as Lesotho and Swaziland. He was amongst the activists who hosted the Committee of Ten led by Dr Nthanto Motlana which worked together towards the formation of Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation (PEBCO) in 1979. He also played a central role towards the formation of MACWUSA and became one of its committee members and shop stewards at Ford Cortina Plant.
The period that led to the unbanning of political organizations, he became part of the Mass Democratic Movement formations and was one of the activists who formed part of the committees who received comrades who were coming our of prison. Comrade served as the ANC branch Treasurer at Kwadwesi in 1991 – 1992. His commitment to organs of peoples power led to his involvement in school governing bodies, community police forums and later served at Ekuphumleni Old Age Home at Zwide in Port Elizabeth. Comrade Tlou continued his activism in the ANC and was the current Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) member of the ANC Veterans League in the Eastern Cape.
As the generation of Comrade Robert Tlou passes on, leaving us poorer, the least we can do is to ensure that we do not lose sight of the vision for which they lived for. Their legacy does not only guide us as we continue to build a non racial and post-apartheid society but also enables us to persist with the dream of making better the human condition. As inheritors of these superior values from past generations, we have the duty to keep in step with this legacy.
We also take this opportunity to express sincere solidarity with the African National Congress Veterans League which he served with distinction and a high degree of loyalty.
Give our warm regards to Bhuti Stanley Mabizela, Sipho Filden Hina, Government Zini, Thozamile Magqabi, Mike Bonya , Robert Matji, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Florence Matomela, Mamu Mabhala, Ernest Sinqokwana Malgas and all the heroes and heroines to whom we owe our freedom and democracy and to whom we shall forever be indebted.
Hamba Kahle Mkhonto, Qhawe!
Issued by :
ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Communications
Provincial Head of Communications
Mobile No :0849519924 /0848439706