Statement of the Presidency on the occasion of the Memorial
Service in honour of our Late High Commissioner to Uganda, Ambassador Bavumile
Vilakazi Kampala, Uganda: 26 April 2005
The Presidency joins all South Africans
in mourning the passing on of the South African High Commissioner to Uganda, a
stalwart of our struggle, a committed former trade unionist and worker's leader
who through his sterling contribution and those of many others brought freedom
to South Africa on April 27, 1994.
Once more death has robbed us of the
rich diplomatic experience and skill that Bavumile Vilakazi contributed to our
overall work for the renewal of Africa and the creation of a better world.
Commissioner Vilakazi served the liberation movement with distinction in various
capacities. Amongst those we can mention that Bavumile was an elected ANC Member
of Parliament, both in the Gauteng Province and the National Assembly, He also
served as an Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni Metro from 2000- 2002.
Commissioner Vilakazi understood fully well that South Africa could not reach
its full potential without the development of the continent of Africa. In this
regard, Bavumile was prepared to sacrifice the comfort of his home in pursuit
of the overall objective of advancing the interests of our country at an international
level. In this regard, his work brought him into contact with various parliaments
and institutions in our continent.
We also take this opportunity to thank
in particular the President of Uganda and members of his government who have unreservedly
provided the Vilakazi family with all the support necessary during this time of
need. Their great act of compassion and Ubuntu is deeply felt and appreciated.
heartfelt condolences go to his wife, children and the entire Vilakazi family.
It is indeed hard to measure the contribution a
person like Comrade Bavumile Vilakazi made to the working class struggle and the
broader liberation movement.
In his compassion, hard work, discipline,
dedication and limitless strength, he personified the fundamental principles,
values and culture of democratic trade unionism. He was a tireless fighter for
the rights of workers and a workers leader in a class of his own.
we derive comfort in the knowledge that until his last moment, Bavumile was in
the service of his country and his people. In the eighties, he was the Deputy
Secretary of the Vaal Civic Association (VCA), an affiliate of the United Democratic
Front (UDF) which led the important struggles against the puppet black local authorities.
with South Africa's current Minister of Defence, Mosioua Patrick Lekota and former
Premier of our North West Province, Popo Molefe, he was unjustly charged by the
apartheid regime in the famous Delmas trial. After the unbanning of the African
National Congress, he served as the ANC Deputy Secretary in the then PWV Region,
now known as (Gauteng Province). He also served as the Education Secretary of
Cosatu in the Wits Region.
South Africa and the continent have lost a dedicated
and committed patriot who had dedicated his life to the cause of freedom, democracy
To High Commissioner Vilakazi's wife, sons and the entire
Vilakazi family. The Presidency, in a very sincere and personal sense, wishes
you strength at this most difficult period occasioned by the loss of your loved
one. We are with you in our thoughts and prayers.
Lala ngoxolo qabane!
Nomfanelo Kota 082 459 3787
Dept of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152