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Khabisi Mosunkutu commended as champion at memorial

ANCWL’s Faith Mazibuko says during his time at Cosatu, Mosunkutu fought for working women to get fair maternity leave.

A memorial service was held in Pimville, Soweto, for the late ANC stalwart Khabisi Mosunkutu on 28 December 2018. Picture: Bonga Dlulane/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng section of the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) has commended the late Khabisi Mosunkutu as a champion for women’s rights and equality.

Provincial chair for the League Faith Mazibuko said during his time at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), Mosunkutu fought for working women to get fair maternity leave.

She was speaking at a memorial service in Pimville, Soweto. Mosunkutu passed away earlier this week.

Mazibuko attributed most of the strides made in women’s emancipation to Mosunkutu.

“I wonder how many of us can still remember how many months maternity leave is. It was Mosunkutu who saw to that it [maternity leave] must be six months with pay. We hope Cosatu will continue where he [Mosunkutu] left off, to ensure that women are paid for the full six months.”

Mazibuko also told mourners that he wasn’t afraid to tackle his own comrades when women approached him, accusing some of their male comrades of assault: “To help us [women] fight gender-based violence. He made sure there was privacy when women broke their silence.”

Mazibuko also told mourners that the African National Congress (ANC) and tripartite alliance needed to continue fighting for women’s rights.

Mosunkutu will be buried next week in a special provincial funeral.

HONOUR FALLEN LEADERS

ANC, South African Communist Party (SACP) and Cosatu speakers at the memorial said they needed to go back to the founding principles of the freedom charter ahead of next year’s crucial elections.

Tripartite alliance leaders say the best way to honour fallen members, such as Mosunkutu, is to put aside their differences.

“As much as we can bear testimony to his [Mosunkutu] work to help us attain our freedom, we understand all too well that well that the gates of freedom can also be reversed,” says the ANC’s Parks Tau.

The Gauteng chairperson of SACP, Joe Mpisi‚ said the future of the alliance was at stake: “We call upon our movement, particularly the leader of the movement, to never allow comrades who ridicule this debate because this debate is necessary. Oliver Tambo ensured that our alliance was solid and never divided because he understood the principles of this alliance.”

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the government needed to step up.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)