These were the words spoken by Solly Mapaile, an SACP leader, at the funeral of its provincial secretary, Tumisang Bojabotshela, in Kraaifontein on Sunday.
Mapaile, a vocal critic of President Jacob Zuma, has repeatedly called for Zuma to step down.
Mapaile and ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, joined other SACP politicians at the funeral. Mapaile said he worked with Bojabotshela every day while he was in Johannesburg.
“He was dedicated to his work with absolute service to the people and commitment to the organisation, therefore we feel a great sad loss. We are here to bid farewell to a great intellectual of our movement, an unsung hero. He leaves when the movement is faced with possibly one of the biggest challenges that the movement has ever faced.”
He said some of the cadres of their movement had betrayed its vision and were unable to give it energy and revitalisation, apart from shouting petty slogans.
He said as the Communist Party, they were saying this because it was their assessment. It was not a call for disunity but to "identify the problem".
Mapaile said part of their revolutionary ethos was constructive criticism and self-criticism, and each individual needed to apply self- criticism.
He said it was important that the ANC reconnected with its mass base. “When we make a call as the Communist Party, supported by our ally Cosatu, that the president must resign, it is not a call against the ANC – we are ANC ourselves.”
He added that they could not have a comrade who has been given a mandate by the people abuse that mandate.
Bojabotshela was born in 1972 in the Eastern Cape. He leaves behind his wife Thozama and four children, Lona, Monelo, Nomtha and Thlolo.
He served on the provincial executive committee of the SACP from 2010 and in 2013 and was elected first deputy provincial secretary.
He was also an ANC branch chairperson in his ward and a member of the parliamentary caucus.