Azapo remembers Peter Jones, calls for official funeral

Struggle hero Peter Jones

Struggle hero Peter Jones

Published Feb 16, 2023


Former Azapo president Pandelani Nefolovhodwe has called for the government to honour late Struggle veteran Peter Jones with an official funeral.

This comes after Jones, who was arrested with Steve Biko in 1977 before the two were separated by the apartheid police, died on Wednesday.

Nefolovhodwe said on Thursday that Jones deserved to be given a good send-off.

He said Jones and Biko were central in leading the Black Consciousness Movement at the height of the Struggle against apartheid.

“People will remember that Peter Jones is one of those founding members of the Black Consciousness Movement. After that he was instrumental in launching Saso at the University of the Western Cape. He is that kind of leader who rejected the classification by race by the apartheid regime. After that he became involved in community development with Steve Biko in Ginsberg. He was part of the Zanempilo clinic there,” said Nefolovhodwe.

During their work with Biko, they drove together to Cape Town to talk to the Unity Movement about forming the black Patriotic Front.

But they were arrested and assaulted by the apartheid police, said Nefolovhodwe, adding that Biko was severely assaulted and driven to Pretoria, where he later died.

Nefolovhodwe said that after his release from prison, Jones joined Azapo and was elected one of its vice-presidents.

He said for the state to honour Jones it must give him an official funeral.

“From my side, I would want him to be given a national funeral in his honour. These are the people who were behind June 16. Let us hope they will give Jones the dignified funeral he so deserves,” said Nefolovhodwe.

Current leader of Azapo, Nelvis Qekema, also paid tribute to Jones, saying he played a key role in the Struggle for liberation.

“The departure of such a dedicated activist, forthright leader, visionary and a selfless cadre of the Black Consciousness Movement happens during a very tumultuous time in the political landscape of the country. It is during these times of uncertainty and lack of leadership that we should be seeking the counsel of the likes of comrade PC, whose commitment to the liberation of black people in Azania remains unquestionable. Through his emphatic love of self mantra and black pride, comrade PC reassured us of the possibility to transform the conditions of black people in Azania. Indeed, Azania is left poorer without you. We shall, however, remain steadfast and committed to fulfilling your dream of liberating Azania through acts of love and kindness,” Qekema said.

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