On Monday 8 July 2013, a longstanding friend and associate of Khulumani passed away in hospital after a motor vehicle accident in Kagiso on the West Rand. Dannyboy Motale, as he was known to Khulumani, first became connected to Khulumani through his internship placement with the organisation in 2006.
Dannyboy became a community researcher in Khulumani's Business and Human Rights Project and assisted the project by implementing the Human Rights Compliance Assessment tool developed by the Danish Institute for Human Rights in the retail sector.
This was in the year of a prolonged strike amongst Shoprite / Checkers shop floor staff whose services were becoming increasingly outsourced to labour brokers. Staff provided to this major retail chain in this way found themselves in increasingly precarious employment positions. Each staff member that Dannyboy interviewed told the story of being limited to earning R200 a week with no benefits.
Subsequently Khulumani conducted an art-making for healing participatory project with former combatants in Kagiso. Many told us of the changes they began to notice when they were finally able to break the silence within their families about the terrible experiences they had had through being tortured by agents of the apartheid government.
This process opened up possibilities for their loved one to begin to understand what these proud men had experienced and a process of reconciliation was initiated within their families. Dannyboy also assisted the group to prepare applications for the setting up of a paralegal advice office in Kagiso. The paralegal office initiative was driven to a large extent by Dannyboy.
We are deeply saddened by the passing on of Dannyboy before his time. We send his family and friends our deepest sympathy on the loss of a true freedom fighter - one who stood for truth, justice and redress for all who made stands in the struggle for freedom in South Africa.
The attached poem "For Those Who Mourn" by Edna St. Vincent Millay, expresses Khulumani's sense of loss at the passing of our friend, Dannyboy Motale.