MK veteran Shirish Nanabhai praised as exemplary hero
TMG Digital, The Times, Johannesburg, 4 April, 2016
Former uMkhonto WeSizwe (MK) veteran Shirish Nanabhai was praised on Monday as an example of a selfless struggle hero by finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
Speaking at his funeral in Lenasia‚ south of Johannesburg‚ Gordhan called on current leaders to emulate his values.
As an anti-apartheid activist Nanabhai was sentenced to ten years on Robben Island for an act of sabotage.
“Nanabhai and his generation set themselves higher values without which they could not execute the struggle against apartheid.
“These were values sacrifice‚ uprightness and not the hubris we see today‚” Gordhan said.
“Today we must emulate those values to make sure that the people of SA benefit from the growth we have today‚” Gordhan said.
The funeral was attended by Nanabhai’s relatives‚ politicians and former MK fighters‚ including former minister of intelligence Ronnie Kasrils.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura also praised Nanabhai for continuing with activism despite his age.
“He sacrificed everything including time with his family to make a difference in the lives of the many.
“We are truly grateful that in our country we have men and women of his kind.
“He was a principled compatriot and courageous fighter‚” Makhura said.
Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada praised Nanabhai as a principled fighter who loved justice.
He said Nanabhai was among the first to volunteer to join MK.
Following the funeral programme at the Gandhi Hall‚ the more than 100 mourners moved back to the cemetery for the cremation of Nanabhai’s body.