Dladla opted for humility

HAD Siicelo Benvick Dladla wanted to, he would have been an instantly recognisable name on the South African political landscape and further afield.

Dladla, who was born in Mbumbulu on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on October 9 1969, died on Monday after a short illness.

Dladla could have exploited his birthright as grandson of ANC Youth League's founding president Anton Lembede. This relationship could have eased his way up the economic ladder.

Dladla could also have flaunted his own ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe membership, which saw him spending time in exile, particularly in Zambia and Nigeria, to pave his way to a rewarding lifestyle.

Clearly, self aggrandisement was not one of Dladla's ambitions in life.

For such was his quest for social and economic justice for all that he chose the less flattering life of a journalist.

Dladla never invoked his heredity to bring about easy passage through life's vexing junctures.

Instead he would argue with passion against what he saw as the ANC's deviation from its founding principles of uprightness and humility.

It was this steadfastness that saw him defeating well-oiled electioneering machinery to win the Mangosuthu Technikon's student representative council presidency as an independent in 1997.

On the home front he initiated the reburial of his maternal grandfather, Lembede, from Johannesburg to his Umbumbulu home .

His professional life saw him working for the Bendel state's department of information as a trainee, the Natal Mercury and as a stringer for Sowetan .

He recently worked as news editor for the Daily Sun before taking up his last post in the Gauteng premier's office as editor of Gauteng News.

He will be buried tomorrow at the Redhill Cemetery in Durban.

The service will take place at the FET College, in BB Section in Umlazi, starting at 9am.