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Shopsteward Volume 26 No. 2

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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements


Issued by: Congress of SA Trade Unions


MEMORIAL SERVICE Central Methodis Church 8 August, 1997

MC: Cde George Nkadimeng, COSATU vice president

Singing of National Anthem

Opening by a priest


cde John Comomo, COSATU president

cde Charles Nqakula, SACP general secretary

cde Cheryl Carolus, ANC general secretary

cde Mbuyi Ngwenda, Numsa

cde Pinkie Mbowane, Commission for Gender Equality

cde Jayendra Naidoo, Nedlac director

Robala ka Kgotso Matshidiso


Dorothy Matshediso Lucky Moakgalo was born on 10 March 1995 in Mokobyane, Warmbaths. She was born of Naomi Naniki Mokgalo and was the grand daughter of the late Elsie Nikina Mokgalo. She leaves behind her mother, aunt, five sisters and four brothers.

Dorothy started school in 1961 at Ikageng Lower Primary School in Alexandra. She went on to attend Ithute Higher Primary and Alexandra Secondary School.

Cde Dorothy's contribution to the working class struggle is virtually immeasurable. Her union work started in the mid 80's when she was a shopsteward (for Mawu and later Numsa) at National Bolt in Wynberg, Gauteng. She was elected secretary of the local education committee and later became acting chairperson of the National Education Committee. In 1991, she was appointed Numsa Wits regional education officer. While she held this position, she was also appointed as Numsa's national Gender Co-ordinator.

Her strengths and talents were so evident that she was soon appointed as COSATU's first national gender coordinator. Two years later she was promoted to the position of COSATU Organising Secretary, a position she held at the time of her tragic death.

Cde Dorothy also made her mark beyond COSATU. In 1996 she was elected as a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Governing Body in Geneva. She was the first woman from the labour movement in Africa to be elected in such a position. She was also a board member of ILRIG and UIF.

Cde Dorothy represented the labour movement on the Task Team set up by the Minister of Labour to investigate methods of payment for maternity leave. This is a key worker demand in the struggle around the Basic Conditions of Employment Bill.

It is hard to measure the contribution a person like comrade Dorothy has made to the working class struggle. In her compassion, her hard work, her discipline, her dedication, her sharp mind and her limitless strength, she personified the fundamental principles, values and culture of democratic trade unionism. Cde Dorothy was a living example of COSATU's dedication to the eradication of gender oppression within the trade union movement and the broader society.

Those who had the honour to work with her found her a true inspiration - an unfailing comrade, trusted friend and a unifier. Dorothy will take her place in the history of the revolution alongside the rest of our heroes such as Ruth First, Lillian Ngoyi, Chris Hani, Joe Slovo and Helen Joseph.

May her soul rest in peace