PARLIAMENT STATEMENT ON PASSING OF STRUGGLE VETERAN AND FORMER MP MR LALOO CHIBA

The Presiding Officers of Parliament, National Assembly Speaker Ms Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Ms Thandi Modise, are deeply saddened by the passing yesterday of struggle stalwart and former Member of Parliament Mr Laloo Chiba.

On behalf of Parliament, we offer our heartfelt condolences to Mr Chiba's wife, Luxmi, his daughters and grandchildren and his comrades and friends.

Mr Chiba was elected as a Member of Parliament in South Africa's first non-racial democratic election in 1994 and again in our 1999 election.

This followed a life dedicated to the struggle against the apartheid government and for a non-racial, non-sexist democratic South Africa, as envisaged in our Constitution.

He was a member of the South African Communist Party, the Transvaal Indian Congress and a commander of uMkhonto we Sizwe. Together with Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and others, he was incarcerated on Robben Island. His imprisonment on the Island endured for 18 years.

After his release, he became a leader in the United Democratic Front, launched in Mitchell's Plain Cape Town in August 1983, which united hundreds of anti-apartheid organisations in a mass movement for democracy and freedom.

After retiring from Parliament, Mr Chiba continued his lifelong dedication to entrenching the non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society for which he had fought. At the time of his passing, he was also a board member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.

While the passing of this veteran of our struggle for democracy leaves a painful void, it must serve as a reminder to rededicate ourselves to the ideals for which our struggle stalwarts stood.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa