Chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) Cde Chris Mutsvangwa has mourned the death of South African liberation war stalwart and the leader of the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), Kebby Maphatsoe who passed away on Tuesday.
The former South African Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans died at his home in South Africa.
In his message of condolence, Cde Mutsvangwa traced how Zimbabwe and South Africa stood shoulder by shoulder as they fought their respective struggles for independence.
“As Chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, we are intensely shocked and deeply saddened by the untimely and unexpected death of our brotherly comrade, Hon Kirby Maphatsoe, leader of the Umkondo weSizwe Military Veterans Association,” he said.
“Comrade Maphatsoe treasured and cultivated the historical bonds dating back to a shared struggle in exile camps in Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as we jointly battled entrenched racist and apartheid settler minority and colonial rule in the sub-region. Along, we acquired a shared National Liberation Movement ‘Political Soul’.”
“It continues to nourish advancement of the geographical, historical and cultural links as we seize opportunities and overcome challenges in the common pursuit of desired prosperity.”
Bonds created during the liberation struggle endured to contemporary times as Cde Maphatsoe and his war veterans stood with their Zimbabwean counterparts during Operation Restore Legacy in 2017, as former combatants stood up to stop the creation of a family dynasty in Zimbabwe, said Cde Mutsvangwa.
“We were delighted to host Comrade Kirby Maphatsoe in Harare in 2017 as we celebrated the arrival of the Second Republic of Zimbabwe,” said Cde Mutsvangwa. “We went on to exchange visits as we explored business and other avenues of cooperation in a shared pursuit of better welfare for our aging and challenged membership.
“In Cde Kirby Maphatsoe, we lost a friend, a brother, and above all a comrade who always treasured the painful road of sacrifice to freedom, democracy, and independence. May the soul of the dear comrade rest in eternal peace.”