ANC Western Cape mourns loss of two young, dedicated cadres in fight against poverty

ANC Western Cape mourns loss of two young, dedicated cadres in fight against poverty

1 November 2002

The ANC Western Cape is saddened at the loss of two young, promising activists and cadres who died in a car accident early this morning in Worcester when they went to buy food for friends.

Shiraz Ebrahim and Yolan Du Preez (both 31) tried to avoid an oncoming truck on the Worcester-Rawsonville Road. The car swerved and the driver, Yolan, lost control and hit an embankment. They died on the scene. Shiraz and Yolan were part of a group of seven friends staying over in Worcester.

Three female friends who were also in the car were injured and admitted to a local hospital. One of them had to undergo an emergency operation and although stable, is still in the intensive care unit.

ANC leaders, members and friends will today visit the family homes of the late comrades. Provincial Leader Ebrahim Rasool, together with Social Services MEC Marius Fransman and Community Safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane, will visit the family of Shiraz at 15 Iceland Street, Portlands, Mitchell`s Plain today.

At the time of his death, Comrade Shiraz was a staff member at the ANC Western Cape Provincial Office. As Political Education and Training Secretary, his duties included sharpening the political skills and acumen of our members and cadres and building capacity of ANC branches and regions.

He became an ANC staff member as an Organiser from 1995 ­ 1998, during which time he tirelessly recruited members and organised and launched new branches.

Comrade Shiraz dedicated his life to the ideals and values of the Movement. He started his activism on the Mitchell`s Plain school grounds at the age of 14, and went on to become a member of Umkhonto we Siwze in 1988, the ANC`s former military wing.

He served as an ANC Branch Chairperson in Portlands, Mitchell`s Plain and was a member of the SA Communist Party Western Cape Provincial Executive Committee.

He is survived by his father Flora (51), mother Fransiena (52), two brothers Justin (19) and Ashton (18), and two kids Monique (10) and Damien (6).

Comrade Yolan was Director of Administration in the Matzikama Municipality (Vredendal/Van Rhynsdorp-area). Before his appointment to this post in 2001, he worked as an administrator in the Southern Cape District Municipality from 1996. During this time he served as town clerk to the Wilderness and Brenton-on-Sea local councils.

As a dedicated, committed and loyal cadre, he made a huge contribution to help build the ANC in the Mossel Bay area and the greater Southern Cape.

Although his passion and commitment to the fight against poverty led him to a career in local government, he nevertheless continued to be a resource for the Movement whenever his services and skills were demanded.

Those that knew him at a personal level will remember him as a true friend. Someone who never said "no", someone who cared for those close to him.

He is survived by his parents Ivan and Rachel who live in Mossel Bay, and his two sisters, Joy and Jenee, and his brother John.

Said ANC Provincial Secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha: "This is a sad moment for us in the province.

"Comrade Shiraz was playing a crucial role in preparing our branches for the upcoming ANC National Conference (16 ­ 20 December in Stellenbosch).

"I knew Comrade Shiraz from the days of our youth struggles. He served the movement in various capacities. As a youth activist, he was a fearless fighter of the Apartheid regime.

"Not only was he a robust activist, but also very pragmatic, a shrewd intellectual who had a clear grasp of the complexities of the challenges confronting our Movement.

"The ANC lowers its banner in honour of two young outstanding cadres. They still had so much to give. We shall pick up their spears in the fight against poverty."

SACP Provincial Secretary Lawrence Maduma said the Party mourns the untimely death of Comrade Shiraz. "He has been a dedicated member of the party for more than ten years after its unbanning in the early 90`s.

"He was a committed Marxist-Leninist cadre who has understood the organisation and was able to share that treasury with other members. He was a disciplined member who would not hesitate to carry out the mandate as delegated to him by the PEC.

"His excellent expertise on political education will be missed by our structures. We say to his family and friends ­ this gallant fighter for the working class and the poor has fallen but the ideals he cherished for, socialism, in our country will live.

"We call on all members of the SACP and people of our country to emulate the principles of this fallen hero."

Matzikama Municipality Mayor Irene Kotze praised Yolan as a very loyal and committed worker who was an important part of the management team.

"Yolan had established good relations with the workers and management of the municipality. The whole town and business community mourn his loss.

"As Mayor I will remember him as an outstanding and loyal friend. I could always rely on him and we will all miss him."

  • The family of Comrade Shiraz has given the ANC permission to arrange his funeral. Details will be announced as soon as proper arrangements were made.

For further enquiries contact ANC Provincial Media Officer Gert Witbooi 082-570-9118.

SHIRAZ EBRAHIM [1971 ­ 2002]

At the tender age of 14, Comrade Shiraz already started to display his activism when he was elected to be a class representative on the SRC. In 1986 he was elected an executive member and the year thereafter its chairperson.

A keen rugby player, he captained his school Glendale Secondary`s A-team in 1998. He also matriculated from this school.

Comrade Shiraz was an example of a cadre who always wanted to learn. At the time of his death he was doing his Masters in "South African politics and political economy at the University of Port Elizabeth.

Among his qualifications were Human Resource Management, Financial Accounting and Executive Development Diplomas. He did his Organisational Development and Local Government Transformation courses in the ANC National School.

His political career started as a student activist, having being chairperson of the SRC in 1987. He became involved in the Cape Youth Congress (Cayco) which was a front runner for the ANC Youth League.

True to his youthfulness and militancy, he joined Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1988 and served as Political Commissar of the Peter Jacobs Detachment. Since 1990 he served the Movement well at various levels in different portfolios.

His commitment to community upliftment was beyond question, having been a founder member of the Mitchell`s Plain Community Police Forum and the RDP Forum in the mid-90`s.

As Social Development Organiser for an anti-crime NGO, Nicro, his job was to identify youth at social risk and introduce them to life skills training courses, identify and support youth development initiatives and organise career-counselling exhibitions for high school students.

As Regional Organiser for the ANC from 1995 ­ 1998, he organised election rallies for ANC leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, build extensive links with NGO`s and community organisations, launched and build branches and co-ordinate the activities of branches.

At the time of his death, Comrade Shiraz was responsible for managing projects for the organisation such as the training of personnel and member for purposes of elections and conference preparations.

He also performed the following important tasks:

  • building the political and ideological capacity of branches and regions
  • writing political and policy documents
  • facilitate debate on topical political issues of national and international importance
  • develop and implement methodological training workshops

YOLAN DU PREEZ [1971 2002]

Yolan Du Preez was a dedicated, committed and loyal cadre of the Movement. He had worked tirelessly to build the Movement in Mossel Bay and the greater Southern Cape region.

His passion for his community and commitment to the fight against poverty led him to a career in local government where he was making a mark as an administrator of great quality and commitment. He was passionate about transformation and service delivery to the poor.

Despite his career in local government, he never stopped his efforts in building the ANC. He was always available for the work of the organisation and was a constant source of information and guidance on local government matters.

At the time of his death Comrade Yolan was Director of Administration at the Matzikama Municipality on the West Coast. This municipality includes the towns of Vredendal, Van Rhynsdorp, Klawer, Koekenaap, Doringbaai, Lutzville and Ebenheazer. He was appointed to this position after the 2000 local government elections.

Before his appointment to the Matzikama Municipality, Yolan worked for the Southern Cape District Municipality from 1996 in the administration section and also in the office of the municipal manager. During his time at the District Council he also served as town clerk to the Wilderness and Brenton-on-Sea local councils.

Yolan graduated with a BA Social Sciences at UCT and then with a BAdmin (Hons) from UWC. After leaving university he worked as a constituency office administrator in the office of Yousuf Gabru, ANC-MPL in Mossel Bay. He also played a central role in the ANC`s election campaign in Mossel Bay in the 1994 Freedom Elections.

He was an excellent administrator with sound technical knowledge of local government administration. This was combined with a strong commitment to developmental local government. His work in local government was guided by his commitment to the poor and historically disadvantaged communities of our province.

Issued by:
African National Congress - Western Cape