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SACP Eastern Cape mourns the passing of Boyce Melitafa

Jan 20, 2017
SACP Eastern Cape mourns the passing of Boyce Melitafa

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape on Friday said that it has learnt with great sense of shock and sadness the passing of Boyce Melitafa, who was SACP Skenjana Roji District Secretary.

"Cde Melitafa succumbed to illness on the 19 January 2017. He was born in 12 November 1954 in Mooiplaas," said Siyabonga Mdodi, SACP Eastern Cape Provincial Spokesperson.

"At this dark hour, the SACP with the great sense of loss and grief wishes to convey our heartfelt condolences to the Melitafa family, the entire congress movement and the people which he devoted his life in serving diligently. The SACP mourns with you in this time of sorrow, we share the deep pain you are feeling."

 According to Mdodi, Melitafa was a well-grounded cadre of the movement, who served the movement and the people of South Africa in many areas.

"He started working at Dunlop Flooring in Wilsonia, East London where he worked tirelessly in the formation of Black Allied Workers’ Union (BAWU) which later became South African Allied Workers’ Union (SAAWU).

"[Melitafa] worked with many comrades like Thozamile Gqwetha, Sisa Njikelana, Rufus Rwexu, Mzukisi Skweyiya, Sicelo Ndevu and many told and untold heroes of our struggle," described Mdodi.

"He later became the branch secretary of SAAWU. He was one of the founder members of the South African Congress of Trade Union (SACTU) the forbearer of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). He served as the organizer of SACTU."

Mdodi said that Melitafa was in the forefront of the establishment of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) as one of its founder members.

"He later served as the organizer then he was elected as the Provincial Secretary of SAMWU, a position he served diligently.

"Cde Melitafa was also instrumental in the formation of the United Democratic Front (UDF) after the establishment of the Tricameral Parliament in 1983, which sought to cajole coloured and Indians as junior partners in the apartheid administration. He was in and out of the detention from 1981. He was working in the units of the armed struggle and recruited many comrades to join the ranks of Umkhonto Wesizwe," he described.

"He also worked in the underground structures of both the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the African National Congress (ANC). He served the ANC in many portfolios, he served as the branch chairperson in Great Kei for many years. He was deployed by the ANC to serve as the Portfolio Head of Engineering in the Amathole District Municipality.

"He served in the SACP Skenjana Roji District as the District Chairperson and later elected as the District Secretary. He was the SACP District Secretary at the time of his passing. He was an epitome of unity and rapid grassroots activism in the life of the SACP in the province."

Mdodi further said that Melitafa was instrumental in building the second layer leadership of the party and the trade union movement, hence he was the champion of political education and ideological training.

"He always advised the younger generation to learn, learn and learn.

"We dip our red revolutionary banner in mourning the life of the rare breed of a great revolutionary, who walked the talk. A great cadre of the party who served the movement and the people without any ulterior motives and seeking self-enrichment. This is a leader who despised corruption, factionalism, rent seeking and all the ills that we are confronted with as perpetuated by the greedy peace time revolutionaries," Mdodi said.

"He remained committed to the aims and objectives of our movement; he remained committed in building a united and non-racial society. He is a true communist to the end, a tried and tested revolutionary. He was a well-grounded working class intellectual, organiser, educator and a disciplinarian.

"As the SACP, we commit ourselves to continue with the great work of humanity he committed his life to. We will continue to build an independent, agile and adaptive communist party of the working class. In his honour we shall soldier on!"

 The details of the memorial and funeral services will be communicated in due course.