ANC message of support at the memorial service of the late Comrade Tom Silumko Boya by Cde Stan Motimele

ANC message of support at the memorial service of the late Comrade Tom Silumko Boya by Cde Stan Motimele

17 April 2013, Cosmo Leisure, Polokwane

The family and relatives of our fallen hero
Comrades and Friends

This day, has brought us together for the memorial service of one of our fallen hero. We are today united by the life lived by comrade Tom Silumko Boya. Our comrade has succumbed the number one silent killer of men worldwide. On behalf of the African National Congress; on behalf of the poor and the working class; on behalf of the youth; on behalf of the aged; on behalf of the community of Limpopo, we wish to express today our heartfelt condolence to his family and friends.

Millions mourn with us today and with the Boya`s family, regardless of whether they are members of this family and regardless of whether they are members of this glorious movement to which all of us belong. They mourn with us because they are part of the greater human family which is inspired by the common ideals of human decency, compassion and respect for human rights and the existence of all living species.

Affectionately known as Bra Tom, the comrade has taught us many lessons and I wish to recount these to you today. He believed that unity in action was the key element to our passage to liberation. He took a very broad view of the nature and the course that we should take in uniting the South African people. His own political involvement was shaped by his active involvement in the Tswelopele Youth Club under the Anglican Church in Daveyton. In 1980, he became mayor of Daveyton and served as such for 10 years except for the year he served as vice president of the World Conference of Mayors in Washington DC. Back home he was also the president of the United Municipalities of South Africa, which represented officials of 60 townships.

On October, 22, 1990, he ultimately announced his resignation as the mayor at the ANC mass rally, and he was pinned the ANC badge to his shirt. On the same day, four of his 15 town council members went with him. He believed working inside the town council could help improve his community, instead of criticizing from outside.

He had the unique ability to pick up on most burning issues and translate those into a programme of black socio- economic empowerment.

We recount that he had organised amongst the black entrepreneurs the formation of NAFCOC, which he served as its deputy president. He took up the challenge and intensified his involvement in the business and political world. Cde Tom had a profound influence in the business circles. Many successful business men and women sought his advice and he was very pleased when NAFCOC was finally recognized by the apartheid regime. To him apartheid was evil and his boundless energy went into fighting it at all levels.

He transferred his skills onto others easily and recognized the contributions that young black people had to make. To him a united black entrepreneur movement would be able to address the problems of this sector much more effectively than a splintered dismembered one.

One of the lessons we have learned from Cde. Tom is that his profile as an international and national leader did not detract from his commitment to maintaining contact with his grassroots constituency. He showed deep concern for his comrades as human beings and became actively involved in the struggles they encountered. Cde. Tom did not forget the political prisoners and together with others campaigned for the release of all political prisoners.

For many of us Christmas day was more special because Cde. Tom chose to celebrate it by remembering the impoverished sectors of our society. He opened his heart to the poor of the poorest and the aged. He did not have any family ties with them, but there are many here today who can lay legitimate to being his family. He was also active member of the Defense Provincial Liaison Council in Limpopo.

Cde Tom had the gift of working with people he did not agree with politically. He did not fear to contradict and be contradicted; he feared only the loss of his dignity as a human being and the loss of dignity upon others. He worked with people who were politically conservative while he was a democrat and believed in the freedom of political choice.

Other lesson we have to learn is that leaders come from people and not through self imposition. Factions never built a strong party. Egotism has no room in the ANC because we are a people`s party. The ANC will make a choice whether you are suitable for that post or this one or even whether or not you are suitable for any post.

Cde. Tom will go down in the country`s history as part of the founding crop of the cutting-edge of entrepreneurs who shaped both the political and economic landscape.

Cde. Tom a man of contrast and courage, a man we can truly regard as a figure which has helped to shape our destiny and a indelible part of our history.

He worked for a non-racial united and democratic South Africa. The ANC salute the treasurer of the ANC Bendor- Branch, (Ike Maphoto Branch) born in the Eastern Cape in 1950.The nation has lost an accomplished businessman, an educationist, diplomat, and politician and community activists.

The ANC`s strength lies within the living and dead heroes and heroines of this country who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the country. ANC is representing everyone in South Africa including the living and those hero and heroines who passed on. In fact the departed like Cde. Tom, were with the party spiritually giving it direction.

Our strength also comes from the grassroots who voted the leadership into position of authority, hence there is a need to support and respect them. Our strength is located in our people, the living and the departed so both top and bottom leadership should know that those people make us what we are today.

The ANC is calling upon all patriotic forces to unite and ensure that the ANC wins the forthcoming bi-elections and national elections. The character of the revolution presently entails people to have correct revolutionary struggle leadership, like Cde Tom, as well as to mobilize and organize the progressive people of Limpopo ahead of the elections.

He will be missed by many people whose lives he touched. We extend our deepest condolences to the Boya`s family and can only comfort you by assuring you that your grief is ours as well.

May our comrade, Bra Tom Boya rest in peace!

Hamba kahle qhawe lamaqhawe!