Lioness' roar will never die in our history

Thandi Cynthia 'Mavis' Ndlovu
Thandi Cynthia 'Mavis' Ndlovu

We in the ANC and MK have once more lost a lioness comrade in our political and military ranks, Dr Thandi Cynthia "Mavis" Ndlovu.

She left us on Saturday afternoon on her way to a funeral in Rustenburg, North West, together with three other gentlemen, when a vehicle they were travelling in crashed into another vehicle.

In the ranks of MK, Dr Ndlovu was popularly known as "Mavis", her pseudonym.

This was the code name to confuse the enemy, the then notorious South African intelligence unit, when they were hunting ANC and MK members during the Struggle days.

I first met Mavis, who originates from Orlando West in Soweto, when we were in Luanda, Angola. We were later driven to Benguella, a province in Angola, where we started our military training supervised by Cubans.

Dr Ndlovu was appointed as one of our political instructors.

Within three months we were moved to Novo Catengue, southern Angola. Our senior camp commander, the late Julius Mokoena, appointed me to train the June 16 newcomers in morning exercises and jogging. I remember Mavis complaining: "Ben, don't train us in tough men exercises!" I responded: "Don't worry, Mavis; you will get used to them."

She was very powerful in politics. When the SA Air Force attacked us at Novo Catengue in 1978, Mavis was also there. Four Mirage bomber planes flattened our military camp but, thanks to the advice from the Cubans, our anti-aircraft units managed to bring down two French Mirage aircraft.

Rest in peace Dr Ndlovu. O kwena hara dikwena!

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