Mabasa loved books

DONALD Max Mabasa, aka Comrade Don, died at Tzaneen Medi-Clinic on July 8 from diabetes.

His death at the age of 46 has robbed the liberation and working class movement of a powerful thinker, orator and forthright comrade.

He was born on April 15 1964 at Kurhuleni in the Vhembe region of Limpopo. He was the eldest in a family of five.

His parents, Magezi Daniel and Shonisani Evah Mabasa, were both educators. From an early age they inculcated in him a love for books and a disciplined approach to study.

He received his education at Kurhuleni, Giyani and Lemana high schools between 1977 and 1984.

After matriculating, he was admitted at the University of Limpopo (Turfloop) in 1986 to study for a BProc degree.

He became a student activist from the first day he entered Turfloop. This is where he cut his political teeth. He was passionate and fought side by side with other students against the unjust administration.

He worked as an unqualified teacher and taught history and English at Caledon Primary School at N'wa-Matatani village.

In 1988 he enrolled with the University of Venda and obtained a BA degree, majoring in political science, history and English. In 1993 he completed an honours degree in political science.

He started his teaching profession at Hatlani Muyexe in 1993. Comrade Don became a member of the SA Democratic Teachers Union the first day he entered the school premises. He left Hatlani Muyexe for Vusizi Primary School where he worked until his death.

Mabasa had a voracious intellectual appetite. He enrolled with Rand Afrikaans University to study for a senior primary teachers diploma, majoring in natural sciences, mathematics and English. He later enrolled with Giyani Further Education and Training (FET) to study for a diploma in human resources.

At the time of his death he was working on a thesis for a Master's degree in public management.

Mabasa was the longest serving political office bearer of Giyani Cosatu local. He led Sadtu as a shop steward in various capacities from 1993.

He was an exceptionally hard worker. He had a wry sense of humour and could tell jokes and laugh at himself.

He was also a devoted family man, and adored his wife Primrose and their children Nsuku and Hlulani.

He is survived by his wife, children, mother and siblings.