A dedicated servant of the people, a diligent communicator and a voice of the working class.
These were some of the words used to describe ANC Gauteng spokesperson Dumisani Ntuli, who was laid to rest at the Thomas Thobi’s heroes arch in the East Rand on Saturday.
Aged 47, Ntuli died in a car accident last Sunday. Hundreds of ANC supporters mostly from Gauteng, provincial and national leaders came to pay their last respect to Ntuli.
ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile described Ntuli as a revolutionary and “a committed cadre of our movement. “I am personally devastated by the news of Cde Dumisa’s passing as I had the privilege to work with him over several years. As I stand here this morning, I am still struggling with his sudden and tragic departure as he was a versatile and dedicated cadre who will go out of his way to get things done.”
Mashatile said Ntuli left an indelible mark on the political and life tapestry that hopefully would always act as an eternal tribute to his contribution to the liberation of the country and service to his people.
“His humility was disarming, hence he was able to relate to anyone and also inspired others to achieve what we all strived for. In his honour, let us emulate his example and continue to strive for the ideals of democracy, non-racialism, non-sexism, equality and freedom for all our people that he stood for. These are the ideals that have kept the ANC, the organisation that Cde Dumisa loved and served with honour and distinction, alive and intact for over 100 years.”
Ntuli’s political teeth was cut through his involvement in fierce struggles for People’s Education led by the Congress of South African Students (COSAS).
“He detested Bantu Education and other apartheid structures like the Pupils’ Representative Councils that propped it up. Inspired by the Freedom Charter and its declaration that ‘The doors of learning and culture shall be opened to all’, Cde Dumisa (Ntuli) fought for the establishment of SRC’s in schools and free, compulsory and quality education. His love for education was unquenchable. Hence, he continued his studies at Khanya College and then Wits University, his humble beginning notwithstanding.”
“Activism was in his blood and he was always at the forefront of people’s struggles. It is therefore not surprising that he became one of the leaders of the ANC subsequent to its unbanning and continued to be involved in its programmes even when he was employed full-time, first at Numsa as the national spokesperson, then at the City of Johannesburg as the manager of the office of the chief whip and ultimately as the spokesperson of the ANC in Gauteng,” said Mashatile.
South African Communist Party chairperson in Gauteng Joe Mpisi said Ntuli’s death was a major setback to the liberation movement.
Cosatu provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said Ntuli always wanted to ensure workers’ voices were heard. He was an articulate and a brilliant communicator, said Dakille.
ANC national executive committee member Enoch Godongwana said Ntuli’s closest ties with the masses reflected the character of a good leader that he was. “He (Ntuli) leaves a record of struggle which will be surpassed by the few in the country,” said Godongwana.