Hamba Kahle Comrade Sibusiso Mqadi, Hamba Kahle
AIDC and AoU Statement | November 2020
On the morning of the 8th of November, we awoke to the devastating news that our dear comrade Sibusiso Mqadi, Chairperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), had passed away the previous evening. His passing at the Albert Luthuli hospital in Durban, on Saturday evening 7 November 2020, is a blow to the continued struggle against extractivism fought by communities across the world. The AIDC and the AoU family is overcome with immense sadness, especially as we still mourn the unsolved murder of Comrade Sbu’s predecessor, Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Rhadebe.
It has been confirmed that Sibusiso’s passing was not due to COVID-19 or a related complication, he had been hospitalised because of severe abdominal pain that had plagued him for weeks. Although the circumstances around Comrade Sbu’s sudden passing have yet to be determined, the loss of his fighting spirit is deeply felt by all whose lives he had touched. Sbu, as he was affectionately known, dedicated much of his life to fighting the injustices plaguing rural communities in South Africa – systemic dispossession, forced relocation, imposed development agendas, and extractivism that is both harmful to people and the environment. Sbu served as chairperson of the ACC for 4 years, following the yet to be solved the murder of Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Rhadebe in 2016. Comrade Sbu was deeply committed to building a movement of people that would unite against those who sought to take advantage of the community, be it the state or mega-corporations. While the struggle is never over, the successes of the Amadiba in fighting against Australian company Mineral Commodities Ltd and the ill-fated SANRAL toll road expansions demonstrated how far Sbu and his comrades were and will remain resolute in fighting for their rights.
However as much as the struggles for dignity and rights have lost a titan, we hold especially deep compassion and comradeship for his family, his friends, his comrades, and countless others who have had the privilege to know him. Our hearts remain with those who will never hear his hearty laugh, his thoughtful gaze as he spoke to you in his deep and penetrating voice. We cry with those who have lost a personal rock, no words of condolences can ever truly capture the magnitude of this loss. But we know that there are countless mining-affected communities across the world, civil society organizations, and ordinary South African’s who will have never known his name but will have been enriched by his dedication to fighting for the rights of communities.
As the AIDC and the AoU we say Hamba Kahle Comrade Sbu, Hamba Kahle. May your spirit live on forever.
Distributed by the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) and the Assembly of the Unemployed (AoU).
The Assembly of the Unemployed is a burgeoning movement that gives voice to South Africa’s more than 10 million unemployed. It unites many movements around the country fighting for the right to work, a basic income grant and the implementation of a number of job creation strategies that up to now, the government has ignored. It consists of Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Amadiba Crisis Committee, Amandla PE, Botshabelo Unemployed Movement, Progressive Youth Movement, South African Green Revolutionary Council, and the Unemployed People’s Movement and the Back2Work Campaign.
For more details please contact Keamogetswe Seipato, Alternatives to Extractivism and Climate Change of the AIDC at email@example.com or Rekang Jankie, Media Liaison Officer AIDC firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the AoU contact:
Khokhoma Motsi : 073 490 7623 – Free State
Ayanda Kota: 078 625 6462 – Eastern Cape
Vuvu Made: 073 325 7009 – Eastern Cape
Matthews Hlabane: 082 707 9860 – Mpumalanga