By Mbulelo Sisulu
Pan Africa Congress (PAC) President Mzwanele Nyhontso has learned with the sad news of the passing of a Great Son of Africa, a veteran of the liberation movement as well as a leader of the Azanian Masses and former Robben Islander, Comrade Waters “Bishop” Toboti.
Comrade Toboti passed away on Sunday (6 September 2020) at the age of 81.
President Nyhontso said Bishop Toboti belonged to the first generation of PAC youth recruits of the glorious years of the liberation struggle in the late 50s and early 60s.
Like many of his detachment, he was sentenced to imprisonment on Robben Island in the early 60s.
“Upon his release, Comrade Toboti worked tirelessly in the PAC’s underground structures
before leaving the country to join the PAC’s exile mission in the early 80s for military training. He spent much of his efforts deployed as the PAC’s director of publicity and information in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he played an enormous role in dissemination of the PAC’s ideological position, as well as in the documenting of the Party’s struggle history and operations, both internally and abroad. Some of his finest writings can be found today in the voluminous archive of the PAC’s liberation mouthpiece, the Azanian Combat newsletter,” he said.
Towards the mid-80s, Waters Toboti was again called to service when he was deployed by the PAC high command to resume duties as PAC Chief Representative in Zimbabwe, a position he held until the unbanning of all political parties in South Africa.
After the elections of 1994, Toboti turned his focus to serving the people of Azania in the Mnquma and Mbashe municipalities as a member of the local council.
His leadership traits earned him the honour of having served in every NEC since the 1994 dispensation, featuring in the history of the PAC as a most eloquent orator and skilled spokesperson.
“Bishop”, as he was affectionately known in the movement and the country at large, will be laid to rest at his home in Centane, Eastern Cape.
The leadership of the PAC sends its condolences to the Toboti family, comrades and friends, as well as all those whose lives were touched by this Great Son of Africa.