Black consciousness motion stalwart succumbs to the Covid-19 virus, exacerbated by pneumonia.
Throughout the early hours of Christmas Day, 25 December 2020, the lifetime of Patrick Bayo Mkhize got here full circle; marking each the start and dying date of this iconic commerce unionist, and battle and modern grassroots activist.
A 60-year-old black consciousness motion (BCM) stalwart, Mkhize succumbed to the Covid-19 virus, exacerbated by pneumonia, whereas hospitalised at Durban’s St Augustine’s Hospital. Mkhize was the serving common secretary of the Transport Retail and Basic Staff’ Union, an affiliate of the South African Federation of Commerce Unions.
Based on Mkhize’s daughter, Tracey Fared: “The Mkhize household want to implore neighborhood members to recollect our social obligation to our communities to guard and defend our elders and weak members from the Covid-19 pandemic which is devastating our close-knit communities. All of us have a social duty to practise social distancing, observe prescribed protocols and keep away from dangerous behaviour that will enhance an infection.”
Mkhize, who lived within the coronary heart of Wentworth, situated within the Durban South Basin, was a part of the vanguard of the Auswent Civic Affiliation, which advocates the upliftment of the neighborhood of Wentworth, guaranteeing the supply of much-needed social infrastructure, together with the Austerville Neighborhood Corridor and Collingwood Tennis Court docket. Mkhize was recognised for his daring activism directed at therapeutic neighborhood divisions, preventing racism, and eliminating race and sophistication inequities.
On the age of 16, Mkhize was concerned within the 1976 rebellion throughout which black learners clashed with apartheid safety equipment to protest towards Afrikaans being enforced because the obligatory language of instruction. This younger firebrand quickly turned a goal for the apartheid safety police.
It was throughout this era that Mkhize’s political activism drew him to the BCM ideology – to which he remained true to all through his life – even at nice private price. Whereas Mkhize was a Bachelor of Legislation (LLB) pupil on the former College of Durban-Westville, he was pressured to abruptly terminate his tutorial pursuits as a result of retraction of his pupil bursary. This was instantly linked to his political activism, aimed squarely at dismantling the apartheid state.
Mkhize was an mental who joined forces with Steve Biko, Strini Moodley, Khotso Seatlholo and different like-minded revolutionaries. On the age of 25, Mkhize was a seasoned political chief – he was detained with out trial at Westville Jail alongside the late Keith Joseph. Whereas imprisoned, Mkhize and Joseph labored to politically conscientise fellow inmates and spearhead jail reform.
Mkhize might be remembered for his unwavering dedication and management in direction of social justice, labour rights, the bridging of inequities and the empowerment of grassroots neighborhood buildings. He’s survived by his spouse and comrade Thandie, daughter Tracey and son Leon. DM