ANC Holds a Memorial Service for Thunjana `Ndoda` Ngemntu

ANC Holds a Memorial Service for Thunjana `Ndoda` Ngemntu

4 November 2015

Today, 04 November 2015 at 17h00 this afternoon, The African National Congress along with the alliance partners, under the guidance of the Ngemntu family, will hold a memorial service for our comrade, Thunjana Ndoda Ngemntu, our Brother, our colleague, a mentor and above all, our friend.

Ndoda Ngemntu, was born on 19 January, 1976 - the last born of Mary and Elphin Ngemntu in New Crossroads township, Cape Town. He grew up very proud of his working-class background: His father was working as a caretaker for some blocks of flats in Goodwood and Parow and his mother as a domestic worker in different mansions in the Tygerberg area. Except for between 1987, when she went to jail for `terrorism` and 1990, when she came back.

Both Ndoda`s parents were activists as early as 1983. Their activism deprived him of the opportunity to be with them at my early ages. Their house was visited by police most frequently and his parents were going in and out of prison. Every time when the security police visited his place he knew that he would be beaten up and sworn at in front of his parents. This situation continued up until October 1987 when I was 11 years old.

Ndoda called himself an `at-risk` youth, given the circumstances of his life. But he also thought he was luckier than many. He had been able, firstly, to understand the national liberation struggle not just broadly, but personally - what paths he would follow to attain his rights and freedom. The fact that he was in leadership positions at my early ages - with various youth groups and eventually on the executive of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) - gave him advantages that most other youth didn`t have. He was grateful for Proper guidance from seasoned cadres like Lesley known as Billy to mention few.

His political discipline coupled with his home discipline assisted him in his development in the struggle against apartheid all these years.

Ndoda was part of the consultation process for the National Youth Commission`s policy document, released last year. He thought the commission has the power and the will to address some of the needs of youth. But his problem with it was that it appeared quite detached from its constituency - the young people of this country. It is highly bureaucratic, more of a talkshop than a workshop. Its present strategy to reach the youth is still largely geared for the privileged few, those who have access to the Internet, toll-free numbers and so forth. Youth in rural areas don`t have access to such luxuries.

Ndoda however thought the commission properly identified the real problems of South African youth: poor education, growing up with violence, the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, lack of job opportunities.

Thunjana Ndoda Ngemntu, patriot, organic intellectual par excellence, a true revolutionary to the end.