The great tree has fallen!
We are not here to mourn the passing of a struggle veteran Cde Alfred Duma but we have come to pay tribute to a great son of Africa.
He was not only a great thinker, but was a unionist and a soldier of Umkhonto Wesizwe.
He was a respected leader.
An intellectual of high caliber.
A great teacher.
And above all, a political giant.
On behalf of Josia Gumede Region, we wish to convey our gratitude to His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa for declaring this an official state funeral to symbolise the greatest honour we could bestow over a great leader of our people on his last days on earth.
We extend our deepest gratitude to the Premier Sihle Zikalala and entire executive council for ensuring that we give this leader of society a great send off as he departs to reconnect with other heroes and heroines of the ANC who fought for this freedom.
Critically, we thank the Duma Family and for allowing members of the African National Congress to pay their last respect to the son of the soil.
We can only imagine the severity of the pain that the entire Duma family is experiencing at a loss so great that no man can heal.
Judging by accounts given by comrades whom he served with at Robben Island and ordinary members of society in various media platforms it is clear that the whole country is in mourning.
We must celebrate the fact that Cde Alfred Duma prepared for himself for the years ahead. He had a rare ability of giving incredible dimension on matters of political freedom at a very young age. As the current generation of leaders, we are blessed to have inherited the organization that Cde Alfred Duma served until his last days.
It is not surprising that former and current Members of the legislature and the executive council have been sending tributes after tributes in respect to one of the notable giant of our struggle.
What saddens us the most as the region is that that his departure is a depletion of solid leaders not just for the ANC as a ruling party but of our new democracy as a whole.
Ntenga was good and a kind man, a mature and highly experienced leader. He earned the respect of all the leaders both in his party - the African National Congress and other political parties in various spheres of government.
He was admired for his maturity, cool temperament and incredible sense of humour and friendship. He was never prone to rudeness or inflammatory language even at times of high political conflict and inter-party tensions which characterized the early days of our democratic dispensation here in KZN.
At all times, Cde Alfred Duma promoted respect and a spirit of collegial trust expected from ANC members in position of leadership.
We understand the sadness of the family, leaders and members of the party for the loss of a loyal member of the ANC in good-standing.
We pray that God Almighty comfort the family and mend your broken hearts; and guide Cde Alfred Duma in his journey to eternity.
Lwandle Kaluwelwa luwelwa zinkonjane kuphela zona ezindiza phezulu,
Ngongolozi owaphekwa netshe,
Kwavuthwa lona kuqala
May his soul Rest in Eternal Peace.
Issued by ANC Josia Gumede Region