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SA: Paul Mashatile, Address by Deputy President, at the funeral of the late Tiego Moseneke (26/04/23)


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SA: Paul Mashatile, Address by Deputy President, at the funeral of the late Tiego Moseneke (26/04/23)

Image of Deputy President Paul Mashatile
Deputy President Paul Mashatile

26th April 2023


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Programme Director Dr Sedise Moseneke,

Former Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe,


Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi,

Minister of Health, Joe Phahla,


Premier of Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi,

Premier of Gauteng

My Sister Koketso le bana, 

Former Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke and Mme Khabonina Moseneke and the entire family, 

Archbishop Thabo Cecil Makgoba and the clergy here present,

The CIC Malema and leaders of all political party present,

Former UDF Leaders and veterans,

Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Friends of Tiego,

Bereaved friends

Our hearts are broken. 

It is never a pleasant experience to meet under the dark clouds of sorrow and sadness, because of the loss of a loved one. 

On the morning of 20 April, we were informed that Tiego, our brother and comrade, had passed on. It was the most devastating and depressing news to process. 

As a result of his enormous impact on our lives, many of us still find it difficult to fathom what it would be like to go through life without this son of our land.

I have known Tiego for more than 40 years, always referred to him as “Ticks”. We served in the Transvaal UDF and the PWV Executive Committee of the ANC and ended in prison during the state of emergency in 1986. 

I have come to respect his political and business acumen. He lived a life worth celebrating. He came from a tenacious generation that stood against the apartheid system. It is a generation that, even post-1994, never stopped to serve. They are all, as Tiego was until the end, activists to the core.

Tiego was a comrade and a brother in arms. As we grew, he also became an advisor and counsellor. Together with a handful of friends and Comrades, including Mandla Nkomfe, Isaac Shongwe, and Nkenke Kekana, to name a few, he formed a team that provided me with wise counsel when I was approached to consider availing myself for the position of Deputy President of the ANC. 

Tiego became part of the team because of his selflessness and deep love for the people and the movement. 

On 16 April at 17:34, Tiego shared the following insights with our group:

"We have a wonderful story of Triumph against colonial annihilation over the last 500 years. They, the dominant global military and political and economic forces of the last 500 years, literally annihilated indigenous Americans (Red Indians) and the Aborigines in the Australias and many indigenous societies across the globe. They could have done the same to us, but 500 years of glorious struggles by many generations of our glorious peoples ensured that we are not obliterated and can ultimately determine our destiny. We need to document, write, celebrate and make this history of Triumph our essence. We must commend ourselves for surviving the dominant military and global force of the last 500 years. It is no mean feat. Our forebears have gifted us with an appreciation of this that can fortify us for the next 500 years as the new battle for global domination starts again". 

I have quoted Tiego extensively because I want everyone to remember that we have lost a great mind, a servant of the people, a true revolutionary and a gallant freedom fighter—someone who was forever measured both in thought and in speech, with a lucid mind. 

Those of us who sat in the shadow of his wisdom will never forget him for his clear intellect and ability to assess any situation to provide a lasting solution. 

Tiego could see over the furthest horizon and thought and planned long-term. He had a mind that could synthesise the past with the present and draw historical significant lessons for the future. 

In the quote I gave above, Tiego, instructs us not to betray the cause but rather stay the course for 500 years. This he does because he believed and remained committed to the task of building a national democratic society, no matter how long the journey, no matter how demanding the task. 

He thought and dreamed in vistas that stretch over hundreds of years, a man to whom history was deeply personal, and the mission of its fulfilment immediate. 

Dr Martin Luther King once noted “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends inevitably towards justice.”  No one I have known embodies this truism like Tiego Moseneke did. 

On the same day of 16 April at 19h30, commenting on the death of Comrade Mbulelo Musi, Tiego said, “The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture must chronicle the lives of cadres meticulously for generations to come. It is a mystery why it is not done – and properly." 

We didn't realise he was saying goodbye to us. We now know that he was instructing us to invest in promoting and preserving our collective memory as a people. 

Tiego, we are committing to do everything in our power to chronicle the lives of those who have contributed to the struggle for generations to come. 

The profound words of wisdom that Tiego left us with suggest that we must change the narrative about who we are as a people. Tiego reminded us that we are victors, and in us, greater spirits live. Nothing shall defeat us as a people if we continue to work together.

His statements show that Tiego was worried about how we should renew his movement, our country, and Africa to construct the world we want. 

We take the wise counsel of Tiego. We are as he suggested setting ourselves on the path for the next 500 years to renew and rebuild our country for future generations to come. 

Fellow mourners, dear friend of Ticks and many of you here today, 

I offer my deepest condolences to each one of you here friends. None of you would be here if you have not been touched in some way by this gentle revolutionary giant. My spirit is wounded as much as yours is, I see and feel your loss. 

Most importantly, I would like to once again offer words of comfort and encouragement to our sister Koketso, Tiego’s children. To you I say: the void that Tiego is leaving will be filled by the beautiful memories you have shared with him as your husband and father.  My brother Dikgang and the entire family and relatives, re re gomotsegang.

I want to share a verse from Psalm 34:18: 

"The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

We, too, will continue to reminisce about the life we shared with Tiego in prison, in the trenches, underground and golf courses, as well as post-1994, and more recently, what he would advise us to do. 

We dare not fail him and our people. 

The only way we can honour Tiego is to renew the movement he loved and served, HIS movement must continue to be an instrument at the hands of the people he loved and served, in order to bring about a better life for all. 

To honour a man who thought and acted according to the grandest of vistas, we must think and act boldly for the long-term. Where shall we be, as a people, in another 500 years? Will we be the victors that Tiego so desperately fought for us to be? 

A moea oa senatla sena o phomole ka khotso e sa feleng! 

Fare thee well my brother, you will always live in our memories

Robala Mokwena

Ke a leboga


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