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NEHAWU mourns the passing away of Cde Makhi Clay

11 July 2017

"Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms" Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna

The National Education Health & Allied Workers' Union [NEHAWU] mourns the passing away of Cde. Makhi Clay, the Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson, who collapsed on the last day of its 11th National Congress held from the 26th - 29th June 2017 in Boksburg, Johannesburg. Cde. Clay was rushed and admitted at Netcare Linmed Hospital in Benoni since Thursday, 29th June 2017 where he eventually succumbed to his death on Wednesday evening, 05th July 2017.

As NEHAWU, we dip our banner in honour of this fallen, dedicated cadre of our movement, a revolutionary and an unassuming leader who served and led NEHAWU unconditionally in the province, at national level as member of the national and central executive committees. Cde. Clay passed away while exhibiting love for working for the national union, he was very passionate yet humble about his contribution to the struggles of the working class and the poor. His contribution to the transformation of our society at economic, social and political level will forever be etched in our minds.

This discipline, selfless, dynamic and visionary leader should serve as an inspiration to young workers and trade unionist as he epitomised the true values of a champion of the working class and the poor. We encourage all leaders and members of the Mass Democratic Movement to pick a leaf out of Cde. Clay's book more especially on his selflessness and constant desire to help his fellow comrades. Members of the national union must pick up his spear and continue where he left off in the fight against exploitation, oppression of one class by another, outsourcing, privatisation, etc.

On behalf of our entire membership and the COSATU family, we send out heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and comrades, and at this point the union wish do everything at its disposal to support the family for a dignified funeral. We wish the family strength in dealing with these dark days. His passing away is a huge loss and prompts us to redouble our efforts in waging the war he passed on fighting for. We shall never tire nor rest up until the realisation of the society that Cde. Clay stood for. We are adamant that we shall win the fight against slave wages and unfavourable working conditions meted out to our members and workers in generally by the owners of the means of production.

A memorial service will be held for Cde Clay under the following details:

Date: Thursday July 13, 2017
Time: 9am
Venue: City Baptist Church, Quigney, East London

The funeral service will be held under the following details:

Date: Saturday July 15, 2017
Time: 9am
Venue: East London City Hall

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or email: khaya@nehawu.org.za Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za