The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape mourns the passing away of Dr Mbuyiseli Vanguard Mkosana. Dr Vanguard Mkosana passed away on 1 July 2021 after a short illness at the age of 67. The SACP Eastern conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Mkosana family, the entire congress movement and the people of South Africa who he served diligently.
Dr Mkosana has played a remarkable role in the South African liberation struggle. He dedicated his life to the service of the South African people and the organisations, in the form of the ANC led democratic movement. Like many of his generation, he went to exile as part of efforts to defeat the illegitimate apartheid government.
Whilst he was exiled in Lesotho, he was one of the key role-players in the Committee focusing on the Mining Industry that played a leading role in the formation of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). His understanding of the super exploitation of the working people grasped through Marxist-Leninist theory led him to be at the forefront of the workers’ struggles. His commitment in the fight for workers’ rights and better conditions led to his election to serve as the Head of Publicity in the South African Congress of Trade Unions.
Dr Mkosana coupled his political development with self-cultivation as he continued to pursue education under difficult conditions of exile and attained Doctorate in Journalism at Charles University, Prague in the Czech Republic. He also completed Wits University’s Harvard Business School’s Executive Programme for Southern Africa.
When he returned from exile in 1990, Dr Mkosana joined the South African Railways and Harbours Workers’ Union as Head of the Media Department. He also served as the General Secretary of the Congress of South African Writers (COSAW).
He has served the democratic government diligently in many capacities; he became the Head of Department in the Office of the Premier and the Department of Transport. He later served as the Deputy Director General in the Department of Labour, Director General in the Department of Labour. He was later appointed as the Board Chairperson of the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency, and served as the Chairperson of the Board of the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA).
He has distinguished himself as the committed, loyal servant of the people who understood that the role of leaders is to be servants of the people and to be served by the people. Dr Mkosana has never sought to use his struggle credentials for his benefit nor personal accumulation, as we witness many leaders today using their role in the struggle to justify wrongdoing and as reasons to evade accountability for their actions.
The Party lowers its revolutionary red banner in honour of a complete cadre of the movement and a true servant of the people. In his memory, we shall continue to struggle for the building of a capable and ethical state which serves the interests of the people as the whole. We shall intensify our efforts to ensure accountability and the defeat of corruption in both our movement and the country.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.