Statement on the Death of Comrade Christmas Tinto | Western Cape Government

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Statement on the Death of Comrade Christmas Tinto

14 August 2005
"The Western Cape Government was privileged to honour Christmas Tinto last year with one of its highest accolades in the form of the Provincial Honours Award in recognition of many decades of leadership in both the African National Congress and United Democratic Front.

"Com T kept the principle of non-racialism alive in the Western Cape in a context in which the African commmunity was only tolerated; where influx control, while a national law was applied most harshly in Cape Town and the Western Cape; where the Coloured Labour Preference Act had made it almost impossible for an African to find work here and where the levels of hostility towards Africans was so great that no housing provision was made and very little schooling provided.

"In conditions of such hostitlty to keep alive a vision of an inclusive and non racial society and to keep alive the dream of a single united nation: made of Com T an exceptional human being.

"The amazing thing is that South Africa and the Western Cape produced an entire generation of such leaders. Com T epitomised that generation's generosity of spirit, their willingness to reach over the railway line at Guguletu and to even embrace those in the coloured community who, while fellow victims of apartheid, found themselves on a slightly higher rung in terms of access to housing, services, jobs and education. Com T also understood that whites were not the enemy, instead he directed us all to dedicate our energies to destroy the racist system of apartheid.

"Like so many others who today hold many levels of leadership in society I was fortunate to have sat at his feet in so many UDF executive meetings, to have spent quality time with him in detention in the jails of apartheid and have hid behind his courage while he led us on one campaign after another leading to the final destruction of apartheid. The Western Cape sincerely mourns the loss of one of the great sons of this country. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family."

For any further input or clarification please contact: Clayton Wakeford.

iKhaya Lethu Sonke ~ A Home for All ~ 'n Tuiste vir Almal

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