SACCAWU is distraught and gravely devastated by the sad news of the unexpected passing on of Comrade Zuzile Ramncwana. He leaves an indelible revolutionary footprint within the ranks and minds of SACCAWU, the struggle for the full emancipation of the Working Class and the Congress Movement liberation struggle advancement path. Whilst nobody can be characterised as indispensible; “There Will Never Be Another You, Comrade Zuz and your unique but humorous ways of influencing and ensuring high morale , discipline, joy, stability, unity and peace ; remain yours and yours only”. What a diligent and versatile soul with capabilities of manoeuvering in every situation and environment. His, was a life well lived; hence joining hands in its celebration whilst equally mourning this immense loss; is rather compelling. During this dark sombre hour and in grief, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Ramncwana Family, Friends, the Loved Ones and Comrades. Ningaqumbi, niqalekise Mawethu, mkhululeni ahambe kakuhle, eyakhe indima uyidlalile; Lalani ngenxeba akuhlanga lungehlanga. May His Soul Rest In Eternal Peace!!!
An immense loss has engulfed SACCAWU ; the advanced detachment of the Working Class, in particular and the Working Class in general; as our legendary stalwart, Comrade Zuzile Ramncwana; Bra Zuz or Bhele; is no more – Umthi omkhulu uwile. Our legendary stalwart of note breathes no more. He was one of a kind and in him laid deep love for workers, with preoccupation and unwavering passion and devotion, throughout his life of political activism, being to advance the struggle for the total emancipation of the Working Class. Our struggle is poorer without him and SACCAWU dips her flag in his memory, honour and appreciation of the countless but immeasurable sacrifices.
He cuts his teeth in the trenches and platoons of the liberation struggle dictates and had arisen through the ranks of the trade union movement and political liberation movement’s underground activism. He grew up in East London, very street-wise and at some point was working at NASH now known as MBSA; thus amongst the first group of workers who joined SAAWU at its embryonic formation stages; but SAAWU, a very strong and militant new kid on the block; and that , which not only was challenging employers oppressive super exploitation; but an irritation and pain in the butt of Lennox Sebe’s nepotism and despotic Apartheid imposed brutal tyrant Bantustan (Ciskei)Puppet Regime, heavy handedly backed by Charles Sebe commanded, equally brutal and inhumanly vicious Security/Special Branch Police and Army; and an unstoppable force to be reckoned with, within the Mass Democratic Movement waged struggles throughout the then Border Region and countrywide; under the stewardship/leadership of some of the gallant fighters of the time ; such as Comrades Thozamile Gqwetha, Sisa Njikelana , Sam Kikine and many others. This was when organisers used to be the first ones in the morning to arrive at factory gates and workplace doors to recruit, enlist and organise membership with simultaneous organisational and political consciousness induction; and not the other way round; beginning as an ordinary member, a volunteer and later an organiser. At that verystage he subscribed to the notion and principle of keeping the masses, in general but members in particular, always highly mobilised and combat ready. In the process instilling confidence, ridding dependency syndrome and organisational wheel-burrows, sectarian empire manipulations and assumed Messiahs or Super Leaders. Indeed an undisputable organic intellectual and revolutionary instinctive, in the making.
He later relocated to Cape Town as part of SAAWU deployments countrywide during the period leading to Unity Talks towards the formation of our Federation, COSATU; and, as and when COSATU mergers began, he integrated into SACCAWU (then CCAWUSA) with components of SAAWU membership within/aligned to SACCAWU scope. His streetwise postureous attitude and diligent enthusiasm like many characters of such calibre; contributed significantly towards effectiveness and efficiency of some of the activities and processes encapsulated within ANC liberation struggle-pillars, especially underground and mass mobilisation, into which he was so embedded, focused and whole heartedly dedicated; with conviction.
Whilst inquisitive and somewhat adventurous, his revolutionary adventurism though never amounted to imagined overconfidence,self centered carelessness and recklessness ; as would from time to time reflect or draw on lessons from the calibre of some rather international erstwhile revolutionaries with some characteristics of such adventurism; citing examples like , rightly or wrongly ; the mishaps that befell some renowned internationalist working class revolutionaries of the same traits like Leon Trotsky and Che’ Guevara. He remains one amongst many tried and tested yet unsung Heroes and Heroines of our Revolution, now joining many such revolutionary luminaries that had since departed.
He was a very humble, highly political conscious and principled; full of humour and an analytical eloquent story teller yet accessible, down to earth, grounded but unassumingly vigilant disciplinarian and unifier. And as such an organiser par excellent, until his retirement two years or so ago. Even during this retirement he never detached himself from SACCAWU and the struggles of workers, hence, with UNI Global Union-SACCAWU Recruitment Partnership Project and collaboration, he still remained a resource person on a stipend. This choice of Bra Zuz was at UNI’s initiative, given the rapport/ relationship during the negotiations of the Shoprite Checkers Global Framework, he developed with the then-UNI Global Union General Secretary, Comrade Philip Jennings, the then-UNI Africa Regional Secretary, Comrade Zakari Koudougou; as well as the then-UNI Africa Coordinator and current Regional Secretary, Comrade Keith Jacobs; resulting in him being invited, as one of the special guests, to the 3rd UNI Global Union World Congress held in Nagasaki, Japan in 2010. That as well is not only a confirmation of confidence in him but equally that of his Working Class Internationalism revolutionary character and impeccable credentials.
Comrade Zuzile, aka/fondly known as Ta Zuz was adequately schooled and advanced in understanding dialectically, the inherent class contradictions at play between Capital and the Working Class and in that regard skilled with sufficient theory, practice and means within industrial relations-collective bargaining arena/terrain of contesting and equally but effectively managing such contradictions in advancing and improving the lot of workers/members. He was indeed a grounded grassroots organiser who believed in the dictum – The People are their own Liberators.
Hamba Kahle Qhawe Lama Qhawe; Lala Ngoxolo Bhele, Khuboni, Langa lokulunga,
Olwakho Ugqatso Ulufezile!!!!
Issued by SACCAWU Secretariat.