Tizzah Mazibuko lived for the struggle

Fanyana Mazibuko

Fanyana Mazibuko

Thandisizwe "Tizzah" Mazibuko was the last national general secretary of the Black People's Convention (BPC), which the John Vorster regime banned in 1977, a few years after Mazibuko himself was banned and placed under house arrest.

One of the youngest national leaders of the time, Mazibuko served with the likes of HIakubele Kenny Rachidi, Khehla Mthembu, Letsatsi Mosala, Mankekolo Mahlangu and Lybon Mabasa to fill the gap that was created by the earlier bannings of Steve Biko, Barney Pityana, Mamphele Ramphele and Mapetla Mohapi.

Mazibuko was born on August 5 1949 in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. He attended Saint Chads and later matriculated at Saint Francis College in Marianhill.

He then enrolled at Natal University to study medicine, but the student political movement caught his interest. He became deeply involved in the affairs and activities of the South African Students Organisation (Saso) and, as a result, was expelled during the second year of his studies.

He opted for another avenue to broaden his horizons by enrolling with Unisa in the 1980s, through which he obtained a BA degree.

But it was during the long years of restrictions that Mazibuko showed tenacity and also exhibited defiance - he would not let them subdue him with their banning and house arrest orders.

In the mid-1970s, he was a founding member of the Committee of Ten, and for his troubles, he was detained with the rest of his colleagues.

Mazibuko was also selfless and very generous: many times he assisted the elderly of his neighbourhood by doing things such as fetching their medicines from clinics and hospitals or driving them to collect their pension.

Mazibuko worked for several companies and his last employer was the Johannesburg City Council.

He will be buried tomorrow at Klipspruit West Cemetery. The funeral service will be held at the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus (Vista) from 8am and the cortege will leave for the cemetery at 11am.