Trade union and MF stalwart, Sunklavathy ‘Margaret’ Rajbally.

Durban - She may have retired from politics, but Sunklavathy "Margaret" Rajbally will continue to serve her community and the party she has had an unwavering association with for 25 years, until her last breath.

The 80-year-old great-grandmother of seven works from her Chatsworth home as an area co-ordinator, assisting the community with council related queries.

These range from querying their municipal utility accounts to writing reference letters.

Read: MF on a 'stable trajectory'

On Saturday, she was elected to the National Executive Committee and will now be responsible for making administrative, financial or political changes.

“Just as I stood by the late Amichand Rajbansi, I will not shirk my commitment. His death was a great loss. 

"However, when Mrs Thakur-Rajbansi took over, she did not do him or his work an injustice and continues to serve the community in the same manner. The Minority Front's (MF) future remains bright,” said Rajbally.

The former deputy mayor in the eThekwini region and MP has enjoyed much success in her political career, which spanned two decades.

Before entering the political arena, she championed the cause of factory workers as a trade unionist for 40 years.

It was during this time that Rajbally met Rajbansi and her political career began.

“I worked as a machinist but was always outspoken and fought for overworked employees and those who were underpaid or treated unfairly. I soon became a supervisor and shop steward,” she said.

“Members from the Garment Workers Industrial Union approached me in 1953 and encouraged me to join and help recruit workers. While fulfilling this role, I met Mr Rajbansi at a public meeting at Currie's Fountain in the early 1990s. 

"He was with the House of Delegates and had known of me and wanted my help to form a political party.”

Rajbansi, she said, wanted her to drum up support for him among the factory workers.

After 40 years with the union, Rajbally retired in 1993.

“Mr Rajbansi told me I could not sit at home any longer as he needed someone with my outspoken and fighting spirit to join his party and I agreed.”

She stood for elections as councillor of Ward 69 (Mobeni Heights, Havenside and Bayview) in 1996 and won. Three months later, Rajbally was elected deputy mayor until 1999.

The party also won a seat in National Parliament that year.