Kebby Maphatsoe was loyal to RET principle, says Tony Yengeni
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ANC national working committee (NWC) member Tony Yengeni on Friday described late former ANC MP Kebby Maphatsoe as a leader who fully embraced the party’s radical economic transformation (RET) resolution.
Yengeni was among the speakers at the memorial service in Protea Glen, Soweto of the president of the now disbanded uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association and ANC MP, who died on Tuesday this week.
”He did not embrace RET as a factional position of a certain platform or grouping, he embraced RET as a policy, a principle and a resolution of the ANC,” he said.
According to Yengeni, Maphatsoe at all times upheld the principles, the history, the policies and resolutions of his organisation, the ANC, especially resolutions of that famous national conference in Nasrec and its major resolution, RET.
”Comrade Kebby was very, very principled about what he believed in, he was forthright and firm in expressing himself. He was fearless even at the point of putting his own life in danger,” Yengeni said, adding that Maphatsoe loved and respected his political home and expressed himself openly and freely when it came to issues affecting his organisation.
He continued: “I am tempted to go into the politics of the ANC because Kebby was very much part and parcel of what the movement is going through today. But I will refrain from doing so and respect the age-old African tradition of ukuzila, a quiet, dignified period of mourning in honour of those that have departed from this life”.
Yengeni said if he spoke about the politics of the ANC at the memorial service, some may misinterpret and even distort his statements and accuse him of using the platform to advance his own political agenda.
ANC MP and member of the party’s national executive committee Tina Joemat-Pettersson said Maphatsoe was a very huge and unique person and that it was a humble privilege to work with him.
Maphatsoe was the whip of the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on police, which is chaired by Joemat-Pettersson.
”We differed like nobody’s business. I am a better person because of Comrade Kebby,” she said.
Joemat-Pettersson added that Maphatsoe used to sit with her son who has serious health challenges through the night in hospital.
”We relied heavily on Comrade Kebby to share with us his wisdom and his understanding of what was happening within the security situation within our country,” she explained.
Communication Workers’ Union general-secretary Aubrey Tshabalala, speaking on behalf of Cosatu, said Maphatsoe always undertook that even when he differed with his comrades he will differ never disrespectfully.
The memorial service was attended by suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and NWC member Nomvula Mokonyane, among other high profile politicians.
Maphatsoe will be buried at Westpark Cemetery on Sunday after a funeral service in Protea Glen.