PSI is deeply saddened by the death of Comrade Koena Ramotlou, the General Secretary of PSI affiliate the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU). He committed his life to quality service delivery and the pursuit of decent working conditions for all municipal workers. We express our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues in SAMWU.
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It is with utmost shock and disbelief that we have learnt of the death of the General Secretary of SAMWU, Cde Koena Ramotlou, who was elected at the recently held National Conference in Mafikeng. The conference was a culmination of the efforts at reorganisation and renewal of the union by the team led by Cde Kolobe himself. The theme of the conference was an encapsulation of his vision for the union. It is really tragic that his young life was cut short before he could implement his grand plans for the union. We hope that his colleagues at SAMWU will continue to push on through with all the plans that he helped to draw up.
The greatest tribute that can be paid to the life of Cde Koena will be the fulfilment of his vision for a united, strong, vibrant, and militant SAMWU. His was a lifetime commitment to quality service delivery and to the welfare of all Municipal workers, having spent most of his adult life working in the municipal sector and organising municipal workers.
We, in the PSI family especially remember Cde Koena for his commitment to the international trade union movement through his active participation in the activities that PSI organised and in such platforms as the AMALGUN, the continental municipal sector network and the Young workers platform. In his stint as the International Secretary of SAMWU, Cde Koena rarely missed meetings of the South African National Coordinating Committee. Being a young cadre himself, we would like to celebrate him for having risen to the apex of the union at such a young age and for his support for the constitutionalisation of the SAMWU Young Workers structure.
We will remember Cde Koena as a Comrade who was very friendly and approachable, while at the same time who was a visionary who could be firm in his beliefs. We have been robbed of a friend, a comrade and a leader. As we mourn him, we would like to remember him with his own words, as broadcast on his WhatsApp status: “Keep your eyes on the ball.” We promise you Kolobe that as the capitalists, the unscrupulous employers, the COVID-19 pandemic, the sell-outs and the counterrevolutionaries try to dribble us, we will keep our eyes on the ball.
To his family, we would like to express our deepest sympathies for the loss. We share your pain because in his living years he was spending more of his time with his Comrades in pursuit of decent working conditions for all municipal workers. To his colleagues in SAMWU, we send our deepest condolences and encourage you to uphold his legacy. To all members of the trade union movement, as we have been plunged into grief and we as we mourn our Cde, let us reflect on how we can strengthen solidarity across the board.
May his soul rest in Power.