VETERAN MASANGO JOINS CELESTIAL MK

DEAD: Ting-Ting Masango[ Peter Harris launch his book about the four Delmas trial at Constitutional Hill in Hillbrow,Johannesburg. From left to right Ting Ting Masango,Sophy Masango,Suzy Masina,Sylvia Masango and Ncani Maganyele] Pic: PETER MOGAKI. 10/07/2008. © Sowetan.
DEAD: Ting-Ting Masango[ Peter Harris launch his book about the four Delmas trial at Constitutional Hill in Hillbrow,Johannesburg. From left to right Ting Ting Masango,Sophy Masango,Suzy Masina,Sylvia Masango and Ncani Maganyele] Pic: PETER MOGAKI. 10/07/2008. © Sowetan.

UMKHONTO we Sizwe veteran and former member of the Delmas Four, Ting-Ting Masango, died last Friday.

UMKHONTO we Sizwe veteran and former member of the Delmas Four, Ting-Ting Masango, died last Friday.

Masango, a member of Parliament's trade and industry portfolio committee and a former SABC staffer, died as a result of complications from diabetes at Pretoria's Unitas Hospital.

Masango grew up in Mamelodi, where he became politically active after the events of June 1976.

He went into exile in Mozambique in 1978 before being sent to Angola for military training.

He returned to the country in 1985 and undertook a number of operations for MK.

Masango, Neo Potsane, Jabu Masina and Joseph Makhura - the other members of his MK unit - were arrested for terrorism in 1986.

The group elected not to participate in their trial, refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the apartheid government. The four combatants demanded to be tried as soldiers.

The trial received much publicity both locally and internationally. The Delmas Four - as the unit came to be known - were eventually sentenced to death in 1989. The four were released in 1991 and were granted amnesty by the TRC in 1998.

After working as a news writer for the SABC, he became a member of the National Assembly in June.

He served on Parliament's trade and industry and water and environmental affairs portfolio committees.

ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said: "Our country would not be where it is today had it not been for the commitment and selfless sacrifices of cadres of the calibre of "Comrade Bells".

"We dip our revolutionary banner in honour of this distinguished cadre and selfless combatant who sacrificed immensely to the democratic order we live in today."

Peter Harris, a friend of Masango's who was the group's defence lawyer at their trial and told their story in his recent book In a Different Time, said: "Ting-Ting's life was an example of sacrifice, commitment and service. He deserves to be remembered as a great South African."

Masango is survived by his wife and three children.

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