THE PASSING OF COMRADE DR TSHEHLA HLAHLA – ANOTHER PEOPLE’S DOCTOR.
Johannesburg, August 21, 2017– The Azanian People’s Organization (AZAPO) has been deeply saddened by the passing of Comrade Dr Tshehla Hlahla who died in a car crash on Sunday, 20th August 2017.
A tree and its branches has fallen. It has fallen inauspiciously during the year when we mark the 40th Anniversary of the martyrdom of a revolutionary leader- Steve Biko.
Comrade Hlahla was one of those self-less and dedicated cadres of the Black Consciousness Movement who worked diligently from the days of the Black people’s Convention (BPC), South African Students Organisaton (SASO) and currently in the Azanian people’s Organisation (AZAPO).
Comrade Hlahla worked with the communities as a medical doctor. This is a person who would treat patients, most of whom had no medical aids, money or any means at his surgeries in BPC. Like a true soldier, Comrade Hlahla died with his boots on as he was in the Moletji area to tend to patients.
In order to address the poor health services in the Mokopane area, he mobilized the AZAPO Health Secretariat, under the leadership of the late Dr Abu Asvat and was instrumental in providing mobile health clinic facilities in the mid-1980s.
His surgery was a hive of many activities, healing and tending to the sick on one hand and allowing access to political activists and providing refuge to insurgent guerrillas of AZANLA.
Comrade Hlahla made contributions to the liberation cause without demanding recognition or expecting compensation or rewards in return.
We know that, not only AZAPO, but the entire communities of Mokopane and Moletji areas, the medical fraternity and all, lost a diligent and consistent medical doctor who would put in long hours tending to the frail and sick without expecting any compensation or recognition. He loved his people, he loved Black people, and he worked for them.
As Biko once observed about seeing the land of Azania in the distant horizon, it is sad to note that the demise of both gallant fighters has left the country poorer while denying them the enjoyment of fruits of the struggle for self-determination.
Comrade Hlahla represented that rare breed of ‘silent activists’ whose commitment and desire to liberate our people were fashioned and shaped in the cauldron of revolutionary struggle.
AZAPO extend heartfelt condolences to his direct family and many communities he use to service. We are poorer without him.
The Memorial Service was held on Thursday, 24 August 2017 at 12h00 at Church of the Firstborn (next to Mokopane Hospital). Funeral was held on Saturday,26 August in Moletji Ga-Hlahla.
May his soul find eternal peace and rest.
Issued by AZAPO Department of Information and Publicity