TRIBUTE BY THE KZN CHAIRPERSON OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS, SIHLE ZIKALALA, AT THE FUNERAL OF CDE DON MKHWANAZI HELD IN DURBAN, 9 JULY 2016 Protocols We have gathered here to pay your last respects not only to one of the foremost business leaders of our time, but to a man who in his lifetime achieved a lot in the struggle to change the architecture of the South African business landscape. Programme Director, death, by its very nature, has a paralyzing effect that leaves us numb not only with shock by with sorrow and grief. Because all of us are mere mortals who walk this earth not knowing the time and hour that we would be called to higher service, when death strikes its does not only take those whom we loved so dearly, but it leaves us wallowing in a sea of pain that no amount of sympathy can heal. Such a feeling of anguish and sadness is made more unbearable when the person who has left us was an integral part of our lives. As we gather this morning to bid our last farewell to a comrade who touched our lives in ways that cannot be described in words, our hearts are filled with a heavy burden of pain that strikes deep into our very being. Such a sombre occasion, invariably, forces us to confront the question that when this day visits us as it is the ultimate journey that all of us will take, how will the people remember us? Fortunately, for Cde Don Mkhwanazi the answer is easy because he left an indelible imprint in our hearts and once again reminded us that ultimately the purpose of life is not to live for yourself but is to make a difference in other people’s lives. Programme Director, throughout this week after we heard the news that Cde Don Mkhwanazi is not more, a lot has been said and written about his greatness and the contribution he has made in advancing, primarily, the cause of transforming the South African economy into an economy in which all of us have a stake. That he is regarded as the father of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment is not an exaggeration but speaks volumes about the richly deserved respect that many people accorded him for his role in shaping the transformation agenda of the economy in this country. Indeed, Comrade Don Mkhwanazi was more than just an economic activist who worked tirelessly to ensure that our people are economically liberated, but he was an agent for change who believed in making things happened. Today we mourn the life of someone who shunned the temptation to be coopted into the warm bosom of corporate South Africa which would have guaranteed him a life of relative comfort. However, he decided to walk the road less travelled and to be a voice agitating for change. By so doing, he won himself admiration for uncompromisingly fighting for what is right. Equally, Ndonga attracted animosity from those that wanted the status-quo to be maintained where the majority of our people would continue swimming in the pool of poverty and squalor while the privileged minority remain at the core of the country’s wealth. He was true to his conviction and lived by the words that were uttered by one of the modern revolutionaries, Cuban President, Cde Fidel Castro who said, ``I began revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I will do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action”. Today we mourn the life of someone whose voice reverberated through the corridors of economic power, reminding us all of the debt that we owe to future generations to play our part in changing the economic arena of this country. But equally we was always full of ideas. He played a role and led Black Management Forum and also played a role in the Progressive Professional Forum. He enriched both organizations through ideas and visionary because of he would always think ahead and think futuristic. As we lay him to rest, we have to be reminded once again of the urgency of our collective contribution in ensuring that all that he fought for is realized in our lifetime. Programme Director, our struggle to create a nonracial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa can only find its true expression once our people are able to play a meaningful role in the economy of the country. It is because of this reason that we have characterized this second phase of the transition as the era of radical economic transformation because we understand that more than ever before the task that faces all of us is to change ownership patterns of the South African economy. However, throughout our struggle, history has taught us that freedom was never given to us on a platter. It is has taught us invaluable lessons that in the cause of the struggle there are many men and women of conviction who will not live to see the fruits of their brave fight. But, more importantly, it has taught us that for every phase of the struggle we need cadres who do not only have an incisive understanding of the terrain in which we are fighting, but who have the discipline and the revolutionary foresight of where we want to take the struggle. It is because of this reason that we feel a void in our hearts as we lay to rest Comrade Don Mkhwanazi because in him we knew that we had a soldier whose understanding of the terrain in which we are operating was beyond question. We knew that we had a soldier who was not given to making empty slogans and populist statements for the sake of attracting attention to himself, but who understood that transformation is not about replacing white faces with black faces without changing the very structure of the economy. Today, the story of the evolution of the transformation of the country’s economy in post-apartheid South Africa cannot be told without the name of Comrade Don Mkhwanazi, because he stood and be one of those whose singularity of purpose is to make change in their lifetime. He fought for what seemed possible and make it to happen. He was always prepare risk and equally prepared to take responsibility. He remain unwavering and resolute in that no one else we deliver us economic freedom for African except themselves. He led the path of black industrialists before many think of it. As we close the last chapter in the life of Comrade Don Mkhwanazi, the best way to honour him is to ensure that we live to ensure the fulfillment of his vision. As we pay homage to one of the colossus of our struggle for economic freedom, we must recommit ourselves to working tirelessly to ensure that economic freedom, indeed, happens in our lifetime. I thank you Sihle Zikalala ANC CHAIRPERSON KWAZULU-NATAL