COMRADE PRESIDENT JUNE DUBE'S FUNERAL
Thank you, Program Directors:
On behalf of DETAWU leadership, the Union membership in general and in my own name I would like to extend special greetings to the Dube family, relatives and friends with a special mention of mamuDube and comrade Dubes’s only child Mthokozisi Dube. roader Union membership and in my own name express our deepest felt condolences to the Dube family and relatives with a special mention of mamuDube and comrade Dube’s only son Mthokozisi Dube.
Sithi kinina nonke malunga omndeni akwehlanga lungehlanga, siyaniduduza, siyacela ngokuzithoba nokudabuka okukhulu ukuthi nimukhululeni ahambe ngoxolo uMongameli wethu esinethambe elikhule ukuthi uluhambile uhambo lwakhe lapha emhlabeni ngedlela eqotho nethembekileyo in as far as the working people struggle is concerned.
I wish to also welcome and sincerely acknowledge the presence of our vibrant Federation, SAFTU leadership led by our General Secretary comrade Zwelinzima Vavi and the entire members of the NEC that are present here today. We are truly humbled by your solidarity and all the support and comfort you have provided from the first day comrade President Dube passed on.
Further special acknowledgement to the National leadership of our Trade Union, DETAWU led by the Deputy President cde Reuben Tjai tjai, all DETAWU CEC members present here today, officials and the entire Union membership whom we proudly represent. We are humbled by your consistent devotion, love and support of your President till the last day of his life. We are writing our own history today that as DETAWU, we do not pay lip service to solidarity. We practice it as a feature to our organisation.
Furthermore, let me extend a warm welcome and acknowledge to the leadership of the ANC led by minister Susan Shabangu and a special mention also to the branch leadership led by the chairperson Nkululeko Sidu and the Secretary Nokuthula Xaba that have graced us with their presence and who have been complexly involved in the preparations of this final send-off of Cde President Dube who has devotedly served the ANC and passed on being its member in good standing. Cde Dube loved the ANC whole heartedly.
In wrapping up my due acknowledgements, I welcome the leadership of Comrade Dube’s former trade Union SATAWU led by comrade Kate Matlou and the entire members of the steering committee who are here today including SATAWU officials.
Lest I not forget though that SATAWU was comrade Dube’s union too despite the cruel and inhuman way in which it got rid of him, this is history that we cannot wish away, a very bad history for the working class struggle.
My profound greetings to the two-exemplary former National leadership of comrade Dube’s former trade Union who served with comrade Dube in the same structure for many years until they voluntarily and peaceful left the Union and took other deployments.
Comrade Robert Mashigo, the SATAWU former Springs local Chairperson, Provincial Deputy Chairperson and Second Deputy President and comrade Randall Howard the SATAWU former founding General Secretary and the former ITF President.
We express our gratitude for coming out in support of one of your own till to the end of his journey despite the human made well known contradictions which gave birth to the young but mighty revolutionary DETAWU.
Furthermore I would like to recognise the presence of COSATU General Secretary cde Bheki Ntshalintshali and CWU General Secretary comrade Aubrey Tshabalala.
We appreciate the presence of TETA CEO MRS Maphefo who has served with comrade Dube as the TETA board chairperson for many years.
All protocol observed.
I am deeply honoured and feel very privileged and humbled to be speaking at the final celebration of cde President June Dube’s life and also honoured to speak on behalf of the organisation that cde Dube founded and helped so much to build, he spared no energy to build DETAWU, we shall fever remain indebted to him.
Comrade June Dube was at the forefront together with the collective and they defied all odds and disregarded the potential hazards and death threats unleashed by the enemy and went ahead and form DETAWU.
Detawu has comrade June Dube’s foot and finger prints all over it and this shall never be taken away from us.
I can categorically state without any fear of contradictions, that Comrade President Dube was a noble leader who never compromised on matters of principles and they are quite many examples to back this assertion. Comrade President Dube’s unwavering principles are a testament when he had to choose between being a President of the fourth largest Trade Union movement in South Africa in quantitatively terms or losing everything by fighting corruption and defending the organisational principles and the constitution.
Our noble leader chose the latter. Thank you comrade President for being upright, fearless and incorruptible.
As a matter of common course, this enticing position of being a President came with good packs and status. Comrade Dube chose to face a brutal insensible powerful faction and fought till the bitter end even when it was clear that the faction was becoming more powerful and resolute he did not surrender the struggle against maladministration. Comrade Dube was an upright leader who did not sell out and he never compromised on matters of principles.
From being wrongfully suspended by a powerful arrogant cabal in his former trade Union whilst in hospital fighting for his life, he never retreated and never surrendered the good course of pursuing a fight against corruption within the Union. This was revolutionary and heroic. Thank you comrade President.
I am referring to a group of people that were so uncaring and heartless to such an extent that when comrade president Dube collapsed in the middle of the meeting, they continued to move for his suspension and once that was achieved they jovially sang a song that inhliziyo zethu zimhlophe ngaphakathi.
This was the worst form of low class consciousness and hatred one has ever witnessed. Comrade President Dube had to endure such unpalatable treatment from his own comrades. This is something one will not wish or do to their own worst enemies, but it was done to comrade Dube by the people he regarded as his own comrades.
When President Dube’s life and his family were highly in danger and his home petrol bombed by unknown people for unknown reasons, he never retreated, and never surrendered the battlefield.
Comrade President Dube was prepared to die for a good course. Instead of giving up based on the atrocities melted upon him he gathered more strength and courage to expose corruption and maladministration in the Union.
I must confess that when he was to be charged by his former trade Union SATAWU, he called me to a private meeting at his house and indicated that his conscious does not allow him to subject himself to an illegitimate slaughter group. He correctly felt that it was politically correct for him to walk away with his pride intact, as it was clear that the vampires were buying for his blood and that his fate was accomplished, people who were entrusted with a duty to deal with matters of discipline in the Union were behaving like vampires who had not tested blood for some months when it come to comrade Dube.
After some length conversations and reflections we arrived to an agreement that he rather be without a Union than being a compromised leader who cannot lead by the adopted values and principles of the organisation, we agreed that he should resign.
He painfully accepted that his Union that he had founded and spent so much energy building had been captured to a point of no return. He then did a noble thing by resigning with immediate effect losing out on the status and the packs associated with the position of being a president.
Comrade President Dube pulled an act that very few of us would have emulated. I was tasked by comrades to approach comrade Dube to get him to agree to be the founding President of a penniless, with no offices and with no membership but principled and corrupt free Trade Union, a militant DETAWU, he gladly accepted. As a result, we coined our slogan “we are fearless and determined”.
What I know for sure is that Comrade President Dube jealously guarded his reputation and credibility. He did not want to be associated with shady deals.
Comrade President, unapologetically stood with us when he was still alive, and we know very well that he still stands with us in his death. For that we are grateful and humbled to have been endorsed by such a credible, ethical and visionary stalwart of our times.
We walk with our heads held high by wearing such an endorsement badge, this to us is a badge of honour. We shall forever strive to emulate you and follow your good teachings you have shared and impacted on us to nourish.
When you take the shepherd away, the heard of sheep’s or cattle become scattered and get lost in the desert or bushes. Although Comrade President Dube has been taken away from us prematurely, we vow that we shall not allow the heard of sheep or cattle to get lost. Instead out of his teachings, we shall ensure more vigilance and double up on our commitment to build a strong and credible DETAWU that comrade President Dube would have loved to see and be proud of.
We know comrade President that even when we walk through the valley of death and a shadow of darkness we shall not fear because we know that your spirit is with us and shall forever be with us.
You will never desert us – even when you are no more on this earth just as you did not when still alive.
Comrade Dube loved DETAWU so much that even when his health condition was deteriorating, he never missed a single National meeting of the Union till his passing. We are proud that he passed on as a pure DETAWU. We know, and I can say with conviction that his wish was to see DETAWU growing in leaps and bounds and becoming one of the giant Trade Unions in the transport, security and cleaning industries.
Comrade President Dube never worked for personal reward neither did he look for personal glory. He did not expect anything from his trade Union as he understood our condition, it is precisely for this reason that as a Union we have taken a conscious decision to ensure that he gets a dignified send off.
This is the only gift we could give to you President, a token of appreciation and recognition of a treasured and cherished contribution you have made to the life of DETAWU.
I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to all the comrades we have worked with in realising this objective we have set ourselves. This is in particular to the ANC Branch Secretary comrade Nokuthula Xaba and the chairperson cde Nkululeko Sidu and other comrades under their stewardship who were at the forefront of the preparatory work leading to this final day.
Please allow me to address you Comrade President Dube, I request that you give us the courage and strength to succeed in fulfilling your wish to build a strong DETAWU and compete against our adversaries and conquer them.
I ask that you give us the strength and wisdom to conquer those who dare to stand on our way of seeking greater emancipation of the working class and the attainment of socialism.
Comrade President I request that you help us to keep up with your values and continue fighting against corruption and domestication of trade Union movements.
Please allow me comrade President to apologise on behalf of those who out of their naivety and blind loyalty, betrayed and threw you into a baseless pit. They themselves know that you steadfastly stood and fought for what is right.
In you Comrade, our esteemed President, we have lost an exceptional leader who carved exemplary steps for us to follow. We are utterly grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with you. We are confident that you will be our good and trusted ambassador on the other side.
Comrade President with due respect on behalf of the entire DETAWU I give you a firm mandate to ensure that when you get to the other side you establish a DETAWU division where we will find you when our turn comes.
Comrade President kindly be aware that your wish relayed to us by your family of being buried by your Union Detawu has been fulfilled to the best of our capabilities, what an honour and privilege you have bestowed on us. Thank you for entrusting us with this responsibility.
We knew that you have confidence in us, but we did not know that it runs so deep that you can entrust us with the responsibility to preside and oversee the final celebration of your life.
We shall forever be grateful.
As I draw nearer to my conclusion, let me extend our utmost sense of appreciation to the family for allowing comrade President Dube to dedicate his time to DETAWU and all the support and love you gave him.
Your loss is our loss too, your pain is our pain. Just like you family members we are no longer complete without comrade President Dube. Asiphelelanga kushodu’Dube and we are poorer without him.
To the family once more I wish you at this difficult time to find some strength and courage. This too shall pass.
Our irreplaceable precious cup has broken into peace and this we accept with heavy harts.
Death be not proud.