EULOGY BY EC PREMIER AT THE FUNERAL OF THE LATE REVEREND LUNGELO DWABA

Babhexeshi bale nkqubo : Rev. Yose and Cde Maxhegwana

Chaplain and clergy

USapho lakwa Dwaba,amaQwathi , iZihlobo neZalamane

Government Ministers, MECs, MPs. MPLs, BCM Mayor and all Mayors and Councillors

Members of the Umkhonto WeSizwe Liberation War Veterans, amagorha omzabalazo wenkululeko

Iinkosi zezwe lakuthi

Iinkokheli ze ANC and Alliance

Amalungelo , Abaxhasi nabalandeli be ANC, naye wonke umntu okhoyo phakathi kwethu namhlanje.

Mholweni e Phondweni

Kwamandulo xa sidibene ngoluhlobo ilizwi lokuqala elenziwayo liya kusapho. Ndivumeleni ngoko ndigqithise amazwi ovelwano nentuthuzelo kumaTshawe onke namaQwathi xa nizibona niphantsi kwelifu elimnyama namhlanje.

Ngokukhethekileyo sicela uThixo omeleze uNkosikazi kaTshawe, uMama maVuyi nabantwana bakhe uNamhla, Piyelo, noLindiwe xa bezibona bebeka uTata wabo kwikhaya lakhe lokugqibela. Akuhlanga lungehlanga sapho lakwaDwaba.

Ndinesicelo apha ebantwaneni baka Tshawe, sokuba basondele ngakumbi kuMama wabo ngelixesha, angazivi eli lolo. The passing of your father must be the most difficult moment for your mother because she has lost her dear friend and soul mate. Please support her to pull through this difficult moment.

Bazili abahloniphekileyo, sidibana apha sizokunika imbeko kumntu obezinto ezininzi ezahlukileyo kuthi sonke. We are bidding farewell to Lungelo Dwaba the Husband, Lungelo Dwaba the father, Lungelo Dwaba the uncle, Lungelo Dwaba the comrade, Lungelo Dwaba the patriot, and many other titles he held in our hearts.

We feel sad because this is a funeral, not a wedding, but we must also be in a celebratory mood for a life well lived, in the true sense of the word.

Ukuhamba komntu okudidi luka Comrade Lungelo Dwaba fanele kusenze sizive sixhelekile singumzi wase Eastern Cape, noMzantsi Afrika kuba ungomnye wabo bayithwalayo idyokwe yokusikhulula kwingcinezelo.

We requested President Cyril Ramaphosa to accord a Special Provincial Funeral status for comrade Lungelo Dwaba on the basis that he played a stellar role in the liberation struggle for our freedom and democracy. And the President accepted our request. That alone should communicate a message to all of us that we are bidding farewell to a revolutionary amongst revolutionaries.

Mandiyithethe into yokuba isiphazamisile into yokuhamba kuka comrade Lungelo Dwaba kuba khange abonakalise kugula. Kwaye usishiya simaxhaphetshu silungiselela unyulo lwange 29 ka May.

Bendinaye kwenye iveki engabikwa hlaba, esithi uyayithanda indlela i-campaign ye ANC emiliselwe ngayo ebantwini. Watsho esithi ulindele i-ANC that will maintain the same consistent contact with our people after the elections. Ndamthembisa ukuba asibuyi ngamva emva kolonyulo, iANC izokuhlala iphakathi kwabantu.

Mphathi nkqubo, singurhulumente okhekhelwa yi ANC simkhapha ngomxholo othi living a life of purpose ucomrade Lungelo Dwaba. Uzokuzibuza umntu ukuba kutheni sikhethe lomxholo? The answer is simple, this has been the life story of comrade Lungelo Dwaba, through and through.

The life of purpose that he has lived began in Tshabo Village, kumhlaba wamaNdlambe. That is the same village that produced another former Robben Islander, the late comrade Ndumiso Mbekwa.

Comrade Lungelo Dwaba is part of a generation of young men and women who took it upon themselves to fight for our liberation daring death in the process.

As a key figure in the ANC’s underground structures, Comrade Dwaba’s bravery knew no bounds. As the first treasurer of the Border regional high command of Umkhonto we Sizwe, he and his comrades orchestrated acts of defiance against the oppressive apartheid regime. Despite facing relentless state repression and enduring the hardships of a 15-year imprisonment on Robben Island, he remained steadfast, emerging as a beacon of hope for his fellow freedom fighters.

We must remember that he was only 29 years old when he was sentenced to 15 years on Robben Island for his political activism.

Xa sifikelwa kudlala ngalenkululeko, thina banikwe uxanduva lokuphatha eburhulumenteni, kufuneka sikhumbule ukuba kukho abantu abafana noComrade Lungelo Dwaba abashiya iintsapho zabo ukuze sikhululeke.

Xa sidlalisa ngeeVoti zethu kovukengceni bemibutho evulwa ngabakreqi kufuneka sazi kuba sinikela umva inkululeko yamaqhawe anyanisekileyo ayevalelwe kula Robben Island afana no comrade Lungelo Dwaba.

Comrade Dwaba’s life was a testament to the power of dedication and the strength of conviction. He showed us that through perseverance, and an unwavering belief we can overcome even the most formidable obstacles.

He was a value-driven cadre of our movement, and we can see that in his sense of moral duty and compassion. These values would guide him throughout his life, whether as a freedom fighter, a husband, a father, or a civil servant. These are values we must emulate as current and future leaders of the ANC.

Comrade Dwaba’s contributions as a political stalwart contributed to the stability we see in the ANC in this Province of the Eastern Cape. Ebelelinye lamagqala ebesingqiyame ngawo ekuzinziseni i-ANC kweli phondo. Kukhe kwanzima kule province iyindawo yokudlalela, sisoloko siphixaniswa uphuhliso lona lume gxi ndawonye.

Through the guidance of political stalwarts such as comrade Lungelo Dwaba, we have steered the ship to calmer waters. Isaphelile into yokuba sithi sifaka isikolo, kubekho abasikhuphuyo.

In honouring comrade Dwaba’s memory, we must commit ourselves to the causes he held dear. We must renew our efforts to combat corruption, a scourge that undermines the very foundations of our democracy. We must stand united against factionalism in the ANC, ensuring that our actions are guided by the common good and not by personal ambition.

Our focus should be on accelerating the development of our province for the benefit of current and future generations.

UComrade Dwaba uhamba ewubona umsebenzi esiwenzayo kwinkalo ngenkalo zophuhliso. Because he was a civil servant in the health sector, I am certain he was proud of the work we are doing to improve healthcare infrastructure in the province such as the new Cecilia Makhiwane Hospital that was built by the government of his political organization with R1.2 billion. We have modern equipment now in Cecilia Makhiwane and staff are upskilled to provide a better service to our people.

We are investing more resources to improve the treatment of cancer, particularly breast cancer. E Mthatha sakha igumbi lokonyanga I cancer ukuze abantu belacala bangahambi umgama omde oza eMonti xa befuna unyango. In Livingstone Hospital, we have installed a new cancer-treating machine that brings hope not only to patients in Nelson Mandela Bay and Sara Baartman districts but to cancer patients even beyond those two regions.

Sizinto ezazisilwelwa ngo comrade Lungelo Dwaba namaqabane e generation yakhe ezi. Siyilungele i NHI, le idale isanxwe kubantu abafuna ukufumana iinkonzo zempilo ezingcono bodwa.

Comrade Dwaba was a highly dedicated community leader with a vested interest in education. He was one of the elders who congratulated the provincial government for achieving the 81.4 % pass rate in the 2023 grade 12 results. I informed him that we are not done yet, we are aiming for 85 % for the class of 2024. Mark my words, uzongena!

We are making the right investments in education; hence we are seeing a positive change in outcomes. We built close to 100 schools in the past five years throughout the province. Abahlali base Reeston apha e Buffalo City Metro bangagqina ukuba sibakhele i-Sophathisana Senior Secondary School nge R70 million kuxhamla abantwana abakufuphi ewakeni apho.

In my many conversations with comrade Lungelo Dwaba, two issues bothered him dearly in our society. The first one is Gender-based violence. I agreed with him 100 % that GBVF is a blight on our democratic society and must be eradicated. Over the past five years, 16,000 people were arrested for GBVF. More than 12,400 of those people were convicted. Those numbers spell a crisis and all of us must play a role to protect women, and the girl child.

Cde Lungelo Shadrack Dwaba was a champion for the marginalised, and a tireless advocate for the youth, women, and people with disabilities. The second issue that bothered comrade Lungelo Dwaba was unemployment in the Eastern Cape which affects mainly the youth, women, and people with disabilities. Again, I agreed with him that is challenge must be addressed.

He argued that some capitalists want to see the ANC out of power and by not creating jobs they want to agitate the population to vote for other political parties. I think comrade Dwaba had a point on this because some big business is pumping millions of rands to new political parties that are led by black people. Kodwa ke sizokudibana nabo kwi ballot paper, come the 29th of May. Amahlathi aphelile akusekho ndawo yakucatsha, sithi kubo. !!!

Over the past five years, we have been undertaking massive infrastructure development in the Eastern Cape building roads, dams, and ports to make our province more attractive to new investors. Comrade Dwaba has seen the improvements of the roads in Mdantsane and towards the King Phalo Airport. We are changing the face of King Williams Town through massive road work which includes new bridges and an interchange in Breidbach.

Investors are responding positively to government-led infrastructure investments. We were at the East London IDZ recently announcing three investors who are pumping R1.3 billion into our economy.

Omnye wabo batyali mali uzokwakha I solar farm e Ntabozuko (Berlin) kufutshane eTshabo ezokuphehla umbane. More than 1000 jobs will be created.

Transnet announced an R60 million investment for the construction of a water desalination plant at the Port of East London. Last month we were at the VW Africa Group in Kariega where we welcomed R4 billion investment for the production of a new SUV. SANRAL has committed to investing R50 billion more in road construction projects in the province. All these investments point us in the direction of a province that will have a vibrant economy that will be able to create jobs for its citizens.

These are the kinds of developments that excited comrade Lungelo Dwaba because they brought meaningful change in the lives of our people.

We are glad that during his lifetime comrade Lungelo Dwaba received various accolades of service from his organization the ANC and the democratic government that he served for so many years. These include:

Long service award from the Robben Island Museum in recognition of his service to the council.

the Premiers Heritage Award bestowed to him by Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet, for his invaluable contribution to the development of Mdantsane and East London, through political activism.

And his enrobing with the MK Jacket and Beret by his comrades of the MK Liberation War Veterans.

May we honour his memory by rededicating ourselves to the ideals for which he so courageously fought. One of those ideals is freedom and democracy. So, we humbly request all of you to go out in numbers on May 29 to vote for the ANC in the provincial and national elections. Our struggle is far from over; hence we must return comrade Dwaba’s organization to power, kuba umzamo omhle siyawuzama , ugqatso asikalufezi.

To the family of Cde Lungelo Dwaba, we offer our profound gratitude for sharing him with us. His life was a gift to the nation, and his legacy will continue to illuminate our path. We acknowledge the sacrifices you have made and the pain of your loss. Please take solace in knowing that his impact extends far beyond this moment and that his spirit lives on in the hearts of all who continue his work.

As we lay Cde Lungelo Shadrack Dwaba to rest, let us carry forward his vision with renewed vigor. May his life remind us of the power of individual action and the importance of collective effort in shaping a better world. We commit to continue fighting for injustice in the world, especially the Palestinian people who are still living under the heavy bombardment of Israeli bombs. We urge the International Court of Justice to treat the case brought by South Africa with the urgency it deserves to avoid the escalation of the genocide. Those who perpetuate genocide must be prosecuted , we want peace in the world now . We are against any form of war as articulated by our foreign policy.

Rest in peace, dear comrade. Phumla Tshawe.

We thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom.

Hamba Kahle Mkhonto!!!

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