It is with great sadness that Khulumani learned of the passing on of Prince Zwelithini Johannes Mfolozi. As you gather to bury a loved member of your family and community, our love and prayers will be with you on this very sad day. We remember and we salute one of us who used each moment of his day in working to bring constructive change to the lives of members of his community.
Prince Mfolozi was a participant in Khulumani’s capacity building for civic competence training held at Hogsback in the Eastern Cape between 21 and 24 November 2012. He was so excited about what he had learned and went out from the workshop to share what he had gained in outreach across the O R Tambo District.
This included exposure to the community conversation methodology that provides a way for people in communities to identify the problems that affect their communities and to plan ways of overcoming these obstacles. He learned about the power, value and use of information in contributing to solving local problems and how to use information to inform construct advocacy strategies to bring solutions for local problems.
Prince Mfolozi took everything he had been exposed to in this short period and added value to it a hundred-fold and more. His energy and passion inspired many people as he travelled across the
O R Tambo Region of the Eastern Cape sharing his vision for development in the region. He extended his work of awareness-raising through his involvement with CONTRALESA Youth and members of CONTRALESA Youth from Cape Town would travel to the Eastern Cape to talk to him and to learn from him about the value of empowering communities for development and self-reliance.
Prince Mfolozi also drove the processes of registering the people of his region as the Eastern Pondoland Cultural and Linguistic Community Council, thereby ensuring that the people of the region would be consulted and involved in activities planned by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Commission to Promote and Protect the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. Early in 2012, Prince Mfolozi was called to talk about his work to the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders when news of his work was relayed to the provincial leadership of the house.
Prince Mfolozi introduced many people in the O R Tambo District to the work of Khulumani Support Group and to the ongoing struggle for justice, reparations and accountability. In the process he facilitated the documentation of the stories and contributions of many hundreds of individuals to the struggle for freedom and democracy in South Africa. Khulumani was looking forward to working with Prince Mfolozi in deepening the work he had begun in such a powerful way. We are very sad that he has been taken from us and we join you all in bringing our sincerest condolences to all those who came to know him and his deep commitment and passion for justice for his people. We will be coming to visit the family of the Prince in the coming month.
A recent interview was conducted with Prince Mfolozi by journalist Ginny Stein in which prince Mfolozi spoke about the retirement from public life of former President Nelson Mandela and his move to live in Qunu, near Mthatha. In the interview, he mentioned things that Madiba “was supposed to do for us in his time of living”, which we need to take forward if life is to become more smooth for the many people who continue to struggle.
With the passing of Prince Mfolozi, we have inherited the responsibility of taking this work forward because the struggle is not over and we need to ensure that the dignity of people is restored and that all people are able to live their lives fully and with an adequate standard of living that enables each person to access opportunities for their development.
We share this time with you as we say Hamba Kahle to a dear and committed friend who was taken from us far too early and at a time when the work was beginning to bring a return. May God be with you.
Sincerely, Dr (Commissioner) Marjorie Jobson