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SA: Baleka Mbete: Address by National Assembly Speaker, during the funeral service of the late Timothy Khoza, Mpumalanga (12/08/2017)

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SA: Baleka Mbete: Address by National Assembly Speaker, during the funeral service of the late Timothy Khoza, Mpumalanga (12/08/2017)

Photo by African News Agency
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete

14th August 2017

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(Salutation and observing of protocol)

Compatriots and fellow citizens of South Africa, we are here to pay our last respects to a man who loved his country and his people, a selfless servant leader of our people, a soldier who died with his boots on and a spear in his hand.

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We also came here to take away some of your grief, Cynthia (wife of 17 years), the children- Cebolakhe (15), Akhona (7) Melokuhle  (2) - you have lost a husband, a father, an advisor the “glue that held his family together”. Find strength in each other and let the love of our Creator sooth and heal your hurting hearts.

Indeed, our spirits are heavy today, for we have prematurely lost a person who was so dear to us. If we feel and experience his sudden loss so deeply as his colleagues in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa and his movement, the African National Congress, we cannot fathom how difficult it should have been and continues to be for you, as his family and friends.

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It is said, in Ecclesiastes 3, “there is a time for everything, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, …. a time weep and a time to lough, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

Allow me to say, although it is time bury and mourn the passing on of Comrade Zanoxolo Khoza, it is also time to celebrate his outstanding contributions to our struggle to deliver a better life for all our people.

The late MP Khoza, was a loyal, dedicated, hard working and disciplined Member of Parliament from the governing ANC. His diligence, passion and hard work earned him the respect and trust that resulted in the people of Mpumalanga deploying him to Parliament as a member. His contributions in the Parliamentary Committees he served until his untimely death, stands out among the best, something we will always remember as his legacy.

As a trained educational specialist with practical experience in the teaching sphere Cde Timothy was able to discharge his oversight responsibility with vigour in the educational space. Because of his clarity of thought, his critical mind, his grounding in the revolutionary theory and practice, those who worked closely with him say, he always asked pertinent questions in the committee during discussion times and during oversight work.

He understood absolutely well, the teachings of the longest serving President of the ANC, uTat’uOliver Reginal Tambo, who we are honouring this year, when he said:
“Children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future”

These profound teachings of OR, were Comrade Khoza's mantra, as he continued with work in Parliament. Cde Timothy died in service of the people during a parliamentary oversight visit to make sure that the, sometimes, glossy progress reports submitted to Parliament by the Executive arm of the state, have resonance with the material schooling conditions of our children and future leaders of our country.

As a former maths and science teacher and a school principal in Boschfontein in Mpumalanga, he was extremely knowledgeable about education matters and was equally passionate about its delivery to our people as a force for change and development in our society.

He knew very well that the ideals enunciated in the National Development Plan as our 2030 vision, the vision of the African Union outlined in Agenda 2063, and the Sustainable Development Goals could remain a pie in the sky without appropriately skilled and competent human capital.

The radical economic transformation requires able and willing people to propel, sustain and accelerate, as the next phase of our National Democratic Revolution.

We are grateful for the productive life and contribution Timothy Khoza made and his passing shall not be in vain, for his legacy of discipline, his selfless contribution, and concern for the people of South Africa, are forever etched in the annals of our democratic Parliament and also our movement the African National Congress.

Comrade Zanoxolo, must never fall short of followers of his approach and demeanour in handling very complex and difficult issues, in an environment where participants are so diverse politically, socially, racially and otherwise. His political, social and economic consciousness, maturity and approachability became a defining character of his engagements with colleagues with opposing political stances. Indeed, he was a people’s person and a servant leader.

The records of his invaluable contribution to the basic education committee that he joined when he was elected in 2014, will always be there for even his children and the People of Mpumalanga, to access and get inspired to pick up his spear and soldier on.

I speak with deep sense of regret and earnestness when I say that Comrade Zanoxolo’s passing leaves a deep void in the National Assembly and the basic education portfolio committee in particular.

We are indebted for the life of service of MP Khoza and wish to say to the family that we were honoured and privileged to have him as a cadre for positive change in our movement and in our national Parliament.

The evergreen speech delivered by OR Tambo on the 9 August 1981, may be appropriate to reiterate today for the benefit of the Khoza family, Parliament, our movement the ANC and the people of South Africa in general,
“The future is bright. The end is glorious. It is peaceful. But the intervening period is dark.”

We need not shift our eyes from the goal of glory OR Tambo spoke about, but rather immerse ourselves in the act of continued struggle to rid ourselves of all that is intervening to bring a dark cloud in our daily lives, as the future remains bright, glorious and peaceful.

To this hero lying in state today, I wish to say, Hamba Kahle Qabane, hamb’uyokusikhonzela kwabasengaphambili, ubaxelele ukuthi asijiki, sizakusebenzisa onke amandla esinawo ukubenza bagcobe apho balele khona.

Lala ngoxolo Zanoxolo. Uqgatso ulufezile mfowethu. Lusapho sithi tutwini, Lalani ngenxeba.

I thank you. Ndiyabulela. Baie Dankie. Re a leboha.

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