Cape Town - Struggle songs erupted as the EFF held a memorial service for advocate Ayanda Gladile at Solomon Mahlangu Hall in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.
Gladile was well known for the role he played as one of the founding members of the EFF in the city.
EFF comrades gathered in memory of Gladile on Monday to say their final tributes and share memories of him.
Taking turns to speak, the members shared how Gladile’s death had brought disbelief, anger and fear, as it followed other members also killed over the past few years.
EFF member Patricia Booi said she had known Gladile since 2013, as one of the youngsters who understood the ideology of the party and decided to join the party. He was active and assisted the organisation through political education.
“I found out about Ayanda’s death through social media. His death hit us hard and filled us with fear. Ayanda did not grow up from a well-off family, it was hard but he kept pushing. He pushed hard enough till he was a graduate.”
Friend and colleague Ashley Leeuw said he had known Gladile for the past 16 years. His death left him angry; angry at the perpetrators and the high crime in the country.
“I am angry that Ayanda is now part of crime statistics. His death along with others keeps reminding us how bad crime is in this country. When I heard about his passing, I was shocked and in disbelief. I came to terms with his passing when I saw a video of his mother on social media talking about his death.”
Gladile’s younger brother, Mandisi Gladile, said the memorial service came after another service by the Black Lawyers Association on Friday.
“My brother lived his life as a selfless leader.
“He did all he could for black people and as much as he was an advocate, he was also not ashamed to lead the community in marches that were aimed at fighting for the poor.
“In his later life leading to his death, Ayanda had toned down on political activism, and I suppose it was due to his work commitments, his work demanded a lot of his time.
“As his younger brother who has learnt a lot from him, I owe my intellectual and personal development to his mentorship,” Mandisi said.