Receiving news of the untimely departure of Dumisani Mazola Mafu is with immense distress and profound sadness. His passing away robs us of one of the greatest sons of our people, a former Commander of Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK) in particular in the then Transkei Region, a leader and a friend to many.

Mazola is the former MK soldier and commander, and he was a link between the then Transkei Defence Force and MK in Lusaka. The trust that existed between us led to the then Transkei Defence Force being requested by the highest leadership of the ANC to train MK soldiers on Conventional Warfare, in Uganda. It also resulted to MK soldiers being accommodated in the then Transkei Defence Force Institutions for advanced training.

Accordingly, his leadership expertise resulted to a smooth transition in the then Transkei, towards reintegration to a new South Africa post 1994 without any blood spilling. I am personally and collectively thankful to his trust and skilful leadership.

I and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) expresses our shock on the passing on of this capable and brilliant people’s soldier and leader. I would like to pass my deepest condolences to his wife, the children, the family, the ANC, friends and comrades.

Leaders are born, live and die. Mazola was one of the extraordinary leaders that had passion for the liberation struggle. He was a diligent, brilliant and focused person to a level whereby his commitment was not based on his personal beneficiation but on the total liberation of the people of South Africa. His, was for a just society.

He may die but his contribution will never be forgotten. I and the people of this country, will miss his commitment and dedication. This country has lost a leader indeed. Our souls are deeply sad by his suddenly death.

To his family, we want to tell you that you are not alone in this deep sad moment. I cry with you and I know that the people of this country are crying too.

No one can take over the pain you feel but our Creator because HE is the one that gives and takes. It is our responsibility to take where Mazola left, take the baton and carry on. He has left a huge gap in the South African political landscape which we are challenged to fill up.

To his wife and children, please find space in your heart to be strong and let him to rest. Akuhlanga lungehlanga.

To the ANC and the Alliance, you have lost, we have lost and the country has lost. Please give him a heroic send off. Uhambe kakuhle mhlobo wam nabantu abaninzi, soze ulibaleke.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Statement issued by:
Mr Bantu Holomisa
UDM President