Mbalula's tribute to Mike Mokoena

Free State Stars chairman Mike Mokoena passed away this week.
Free State Stars chairman Mike Mokoena passed away this week.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Today, our country and the football  fraternity woke up to the sad news of the passing away of Bra Mike Mokoena.

We woke up only to discover that Bra Mike has been whisked away by the colds of death.Though he was in the afternoon of his life, yet every heart in this country will respond in painful accordance to the melancholy truth that a mighty man has fallen among us.

This illustrious son of the soil has received his summons to join the innumerable caravan that moves to that mysterious realm where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death.

A few days ago he was in the midst of his family, but now his eyes are closed; his limbs are cold and inactive; his earthly prospects are cut off; the shadows of death are upon him, and his soul has suddenly gone to share in the realities of an eternal world!

The beauty of our country has been desecrated by the cold hands of death; how are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished! Our country is bereaved of valuable and much valued citizen whose absence will be difficult to fill with equal endowments.

Bra Mike first made a lasting impression on our lives as we waged a frontal assault on the incorporation project of Botshabelo into Qwa Qwa Bantustan in the early 80s. He offered both his emotional support and resources to the struggle, at one point he offered the use of offices popularly known as Michael Dry-clean in D section to the underground youth structures.

The architects of separate development did not comprehend fully the magnitude of resistance that was to be unleashed from this remote part of the land when they conceived of Onverwacht as an extension of Qwa Qwa Bantustan.

No sooner had they sought to incorporate Botshabelo into Qwa Qwa, a massive upheaval of resistance similar to Sharpville which resulted in the killings of innocent lives was unshackled.

This was not just a mere passive resistance, Botshabelo entered the South African politics as a proud and glorious rebellion.Church leaders and progressive bodies of teachers and school principal carried the baton to intensify the struggle against incorporation.

Bra Mike, from the business fraternity offered his unreserved support to the leaders of the youth organizations.The struggle against incorporation of Botshabelo to Qwa Qwa became a new beacon of hope for the liberation movement because it re-ignited a resistance consciousness similar to the 1952 defiance campaign.It crystallized a growing sense that the separate development project was beginning to diminish and that the hour of resistance was approaching.

Similarly, it communicated a telling message that  the old days of apartheid could not continue, that change would have to come to South Africa.As politics of resistance grew, Thaba Nchu as part of Bophutatswana became unsettled, Botshabelo provided a formidable driving force for underground structures and popular mass conscientization in Thaba Nchu.

Bra Mike was a generous, loving, supportive and unselfish human being who always put other people before himself.He was charitable, giving, considerate and kind. Thank you for your strength Bra Mike,Thank you for teaching us that an act of being involved in the struggle was about serving others and not about serving ourself.

Thank you for showing us it is possible to overcome the darkest of days by shining light on ourself and on others.Thank you for teaching us by your example the value of hard work, good judgement, courage and integrity.Your deeds shall forever be in our hearts! From Fikile  Mbalula your beloved son👊

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