Tributes pour in for Don Pasquallie

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) said on Sunday that the death of Don Pasquallie (41), the union’s deputy general-secretary, was a “profound loss” to the organisation.

Pasquallie died in a car accident in Napier, near Bredasdorp in the Overberg Region in the Western Cape, at about 6am on Sunday morning.

It is alleged his brother and three others also died in the accident.

“Even as we reel from the shock of the news of his death, we take some comfort in recognising and celebrating Don’s massive achievement and contribution to trade unionism and the teachers of South Africa,” said Thulas Nxesi, the union’s general secretary.

Nexi said Pasquallie would be remembered as a “visionary and strategist”.

“A hard working organiser and negotiator, he was a man of great warmth and compassion. He was a giant. He will be greatly missed,” said Nexi.

Pasquallie joined Sadtu in 1991 as a member of the Elsies River branch of the Western Cape.
He rose to the position of provincial secretary of the Western Cape, and in 2006 joined the national leadership of Sadtu as deputy general secretary.

“In his all too brief period of office, Comrade Pasquallie spearheaded the organisational development and renewal of the union. He led the union’s national collective bargaining team and was committed to improving service delivery to members through better training and communication,” said Nexi.

Pasquallie served on the provincial development council of the Western Cape, and was deputy chair of the council of the University of the Western Cape.

Pasquallie is survived by his wife, Gerna, and three daughters Garcia, Bianca and Carla.

The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) said Pasquallie served the trade union movement with “commitment and zeal”.

“In his honour, we will continue to fight side by side with Sadtu and the rest of the components of the Education Alliance to overcome the challenges besieging our education system,” said Buti Manamela, YCLSA national secretary.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven said that the union federation was “utterly devastated” and extended Cosatu’s condolences to both family and colleagues of Pasquallie. - Sapa

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