South African’s National Liberation Movement

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ANC Secretary General Comrade Fikile Mbalula’s Address on the occasion of Funeral of Commissar Mbulelo Musi

The passing of Commissar Mbulelo represents a very sad period in the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) as the movement is losing a number of the very best among ourselves. Commissar Mbulelo was part of the select generation that was prepared to lay down their lives for freedom. The movement has lost a stalwart and a dedicated freedom fighter. Here comrades lies an organiser, an excellent communicator, an activist and all round dedicated cadre of our movement.

Commissar Mbulelo was always found among the people at grassroots level. Commissar Mbulelo supported the civic associations and all organs of people’s power. He understood that “Revolution ke batho”. He was there when people were facing daily challenges. He was there when people were waging struggles of life. He was there when people were burying their loved ones. Indeed, comrade Mbulelo was a dependable comrade who understood the meaning of the word “comrade”.

Commissar Mbulelo joined the people’s camp for liberation following the June 16 students uprising against the apartheid imposition of Bantu education system especially Afrikaans as medium of instruction on the black majority. So he is a member of June 16 Detachment of uMkhonto we Sizwe. In the camp he was fondly called Commissar Moss Thema. He went through training in Angola, East Germany and graduated in the then USSR with a degree in Political Science. He was grounded on the political objectives of our struggle.

He was a part of the unit that was responsible for supporting mass mobilisation inside the country to fight against the repressive apartheid regime operating from Mozambique. He survived the brutal illegal cross-border raid of Matola in 1981 spearheaded by the brutal apartheid regime which attacked the members of the ANC and uMkhonto We Sizwe in Mozambique.

In Mozambique he stayed at a place called Internal. This was a house in Maputo donated to the ANC by the parents of Dr Frene Ginwala, the first Speaker of the National assembly of the democratic South Africa. Internal was a revolutionary house where comrades received regular briefings, political training and writing analyses for the national leadership. The unit commissar Mbulelo belonged to worked under the guidance of leaders of the ANC such as Mac Maharaj, Jacob Zuma, Ronnie Kasrils, Sue Rabkin, Ebrahim Ebrahim to name few. Commissar Mbulelo was an ardent scholar and teacher of Marxism-Leninism to comrades who were sent from South Africa for political training.

Commissar Mbulelo was actively involved in resuscitating the structures of military veterans and engaging ex-MK members on how they could  contribute towards the renewal of the ANC. He was determined in his mission to work for the new military veterans structure, uMkhonto We Sizwe Liberation War Veterans as its lead person in driving political education programme. Like a disciplined soldier he was, commissar Mbulelo wanted to complete his mission and hand over a fully-fledged structure with a full report of the work done and a programme of action. It is upon those remaining, stalwarts and veterans of our movement to take the baton and complete the task at hand.

We take valuable lessons from commissar Mbulelo. Our movement needs all of us to put the shoulder to the wheel. We cannot afford to be divided by factional tendencies. The unity and renewal of the ANC is paramount and more urgent than never before. The renewal and rebuilding of our movement is non-negotiable and we must ensure that it is irreversible. This is an existential issue; if we do not renew our movement, it will perish.

On his role in government

Commissar Mbulelo worked as a public servant in government. He was employed to do communication work for government. He put people first. He approached his government communication work with similar commitment and energy as he approached the mass mobilisation work. For him it was imperative to have a society that is well-informed and knowledgeable of the work of government because an informed society leads to the birth of activist citizenry.

We call those we have deployed in government at all levels to emulate the selflessness and agility of commissar Mbulelo in rendering services to our communities. Steps should be taken to improve the delivery of basic services, maintain infrastructure and fight against crime and corruption. There is an urgent need to a bold programme to mobilize social partners around economic reconstruction and recovery to increase job creation, investment, and empowerment of our people especially in the townships, hostels, informal settlements and rural areas.

To the family

To the family of commissar Mbulelo, re ya leboha, siyabulela, we thank you for having allowed commissar Mbulelo to be part of us.


It is important for future generations that we not only commemorate Matola Raid of 1981 which commissar Mbulelo survived, but that the history of the struggle is taught in our schools.

Commissar Mbulelo was a highly disciplined cadre of the ANC, an ex-MK soldier and a public servant who left government with no bitterness. He remained steadfastly committed to the betterment of the people of South Africa until the end.

Commissar Mbulelo was a colossal giant, tried and tested member of our movement.

Isithwalandwe/ seaparankwe Nelson Mandela on the occasion of the funeral of OR Tambo said, “Dear brother, you set yourself a task which only the brave would dare. Somewhere in the mystery of your essence, you heard the call that must devote your life to the creation of a new South African nation. And having heard that call, you did not hesitate to act.” These words ring true to the character and the legacy of commissar Mbulelo. You selflessly dedicated your life to the creation of a new South African nation.

I salute you, commissar Mbulelo Musi! Moss Thema! Go well sotsha lomkhonto.