NEWS & ANALYSIS

A tribute to Sindiso Magaqa - Julius Malema

EFF leader says he intends to attend funeral of his late former ANCYL comrade

Julius Malema's response on the passing of Sindiso Magaqa

5 September 2017

When I received the news of the passing of Comrade Sindiso Magaqa last night, I was on my way to a meeting. The phone call carrying these sad news was brief and to the point, yet it froze my entire body in shock to the point of inevitable and unending tears.

With immediate effect, my heart was overcome with sorrow and gloom at the death of a brother, my brother, a friend and a comrade that I had worked with at the height of our involvement in a movement and organisation, for a country and a people we deeply loved.  

I had to make a u-turn because I could not withhold my tears, which uncontrollably kept showering my face. The last time a shadow of death overcame my heart in such a manner it was on the occasion of the passing of my mother. 

In the line of political duty, Magaqa had become a brother who when even threats of death were made on our lives, he always remained faithful to his convictions and mission. This very feature about him, his bravery and daring personality, may have robbed us of his youthful life. 

Upon arrival at home, I felt a terrible cold all over my body, as though my entire feeble being had been cast into the endless, darkest of pits. This terrible feeling was at the imagination of what his young wife might be going through, together with the children, mother and relatives. At the face of that thought, I trembled, overcome with pain and sorrow.  

I felt this way because I knew that something could have been done to save Sindiso Magaqa. On many occasions since our expulsion from the ANC, I had not stopped to engage him about the ways in which he could continue contributing to the economic emancipation of our people. 

Even at the height of reports of political violence in his home region, I contacted him, met with him to see how he could survive. 

When he finally was shot and admitted to the hospital, I spoke to his wife and monitored his well-being throughout. Because he was my brother and my comrade. To do all this, I never called or waited for anyone's permission; I did it because Magaqa was my brother.

Under these conditions, of so much sorrow and the trauma of the loss of life, the shock it left us in, it is painful to discover the calls by the ANC YL in KZN inviting me to Magaqa'a funeral. Nothing is more insensitive and an utter betrayal of African tradition than this shallow sickening fame-seeking call. 

I do not know of anywhere in our traditions where people get invited to funerals. The ANC YL of KZN could not even wait for Magaqa'a warm body to reach his family, they already took the platform to defile this morning hour with their fame-seeking calls. 

It is even more concerning that the ANC has not called the ANC YL in KZN to order, reminding them that the family has to take a lead on such matters. It is sickening and shattering at the same time for Magaqa's name to be used to score cheap political and fame-seeking points.

Needless to say, I do not need anyone's invitation to bury Magaqa, to pay my respects and salute him as a leader and an economic freedom fighter. It may very well be that some amongst those who are "inviting" me to the funeral could be conspirers and murderers of Magaqa. This very supposition may very well apply also to those who will be attending his funeral, demanding platforms to campaign for the internal factions of the ANC as it has become their norm. Under the very cover of sorrows we are all under, there is no doubt that wherever they are, they still harbour their murderous agendas, plotting who next to kill.

This reminds me of a more recent funeral of another brother and comrade, Castro More of Soweto who welcomed me in Johannesburg and took me in when I was elected COSAS President. Upon his passing, which happened during local government elections, I could not attend his funeral because I was advised that there was an assassination plan on my life. 

I took this seriously because it had been communicated by credible internal sources who also set in meetings with those who wanted to use the occasion of Castro More's funeral at the cemeteries, during gun salutes, to take my life and claim it as a mistake later on. 

I have always attended funerals of comrades I grew up with or who led our people in any capacity, regardless of the fact that at the point of their death, they belonged to different political parties. I have also attended many funerals, even of ANC leaders or their close relatives, like that of Uncle Ahmed Kathrada. However, this I do never at the explicit detriment of my own safety.

I, therefore, intend to attend Magaqa's funeral, to pay my respects, and find my own peace in the trauma I personally suffered on the news of his death. I too wish to pick up his spear, and make my vows that I will continue to fight for a mission we collectively conceptualised in the ANC YL; the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime. I too wish to come and express my condolences to his wife and children whom I know, and the rest of his family. I too wish to look at his children in the eye and tell them that they will never be orphans for as long as some of us still breathe. 

However, this will be on the condition of a thorough security assessment so that the bloodthirsty murderers do not take the occasion of his funeral to also end my own life. We never fear death, but no one takes our life. As revolutionaries, we give our lives to the struggle, and if needs be, we shall pay with our lives, but not under the conditions chosen by hostile forces.

May the soul of Sindiso Magaqa rest in a revolutionary and perfect peace. I send my heartfelt condolences to his wife and children, the family and all comrades. In his name and spirit, we must end all political violence and unite our people in the mission for the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime that Magaqa stood for. 

His death will never deter us from continuing this struggle for the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime. 

CIC Julius Malema

Issued by the EFF, 5 September 2017