Tribute by Angela Tembo, Khulumani Support Group, 7 April 2014
On Saturday 5th April, 2014 we bid farewell to one of the stalwarts of Khulumani Support Group. Zwelikude Collin Mkhize whom I affectionately called Bra Zweli was a staff member of Khulumani since its inception in 1995.
I first met him in 2011 when I joined Khulumani Support Group. Two things struck me about him. The first was his eloquent use of the English language. My conversations with him always ended with a quick reference to the English dictionary.
Second, was his love for sports which was evident in his dress code. Whenever he would get time, he would sneak in a quick run during lunch breaks. Mondays would provide heated debate about the form of his favourite team, Orlando Pirates.
In the 3 years that I worked with Zweli, he epitomised the good and the bad in this country. The passion that Zweli had for his job could be seen through his daily interactions with members of Khulumani. His valued principle was “going the extra mile”. He gave more than 100% in ensuring that victims find closure be it with his work on special pensions, disappearances or just general Khulumani work. His hard work in ensuring that victims are treated with dignity exemplified his "ubuntuness" by holding their hand through the process. He was so knowledgeable about the victim movement in the country. Listening to him during presentations was always a learning experience for me. He was a wealth of knowledge.
Zweli was a loyal ANC member. This however did not sway his passion for Khulumani work. As former Khulumani staff member, Pamela Whitman said, Zweli was “Brave to confront red tape and dismissive officialdom”. This unsung hero who sacrificed his youth is now no more. His untimely death due to a short illness is a loss to the victims of gross human rights violations in this country.
Zweli, you will be greatly missed by the Khulumani family,
Hamba kahle Bra Zweli.
Tribute by Nthabiseng Faku-Juqula, London/UK, 6 April 2014
Dear Khulumani, I just happened to log into your website when I saw and read the sad news about Zweli’s death. I am completely shocked and saddened by his untimely departure from this earth.
Zweli was instrumental and supportive in helping me recruit members/participants for my research project in 2008 and I spend valuable time with him exchanging information about Khulumani and my research study.
I had planned to share the news of my successful viva this coming Monday with the organisation and of course with Zweli and Manini, both of whom had supported me in this journey.
Zweli was dedicated and passionate about his job in Khulumani. He will be greatly missed but also fondly remembered. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
Tribute by Emma Elfversson, Sweden, 1 April 2014
Very saddened by these terrible news. I met Zweli in 2008 when I was conducting a study of TRC impact in South Africa, and he was a great help in my research. I was impressed by his commitment and compassion. My sincere condolences. Best regards, Emma from Sweden.
Tribute by Pamela Whitman, Australia, 1 April 2014
I am so sad to read this. I have so many fond memories of Zweli. He was so passionate about his work, and I am sure all the many people that he has helped will miss him so much. Nothing was too much trouble for Khulumani members. The way he would bravely face the red tape, and contemptible treatment of officialdom- not for himself but speaking on behalf of others. I will also not forget the way he treated Dumsane when he was so ill. An amazing comrade- in- arms. My thoughtsgo out to Zweli's young son and also my friends at Khulumani Support Group. Another survivor of the harsh edge of Apartheid passing away without justice. Please KSG, keep up the fight.
Tribute by Tiisetso Martin Lebere, Welkom, Free State, 1 April 2014
Zweli was a humble and very on the point person..may his soul rest in peace..from Khulumani Free State and Khulumani Youth Welkom.
Tribute by Patricia Whitman, Australia, 1 April 2014
No! What a shock! My heart goes out to Zweli's family and to all his colleagues in Johannesburg. I know he will be greatly missed. He was a unique individual.