The former Deputy Defence Minister and political activist, Mluleki George has been remembered as a community builder who dedicated his life to fighting societal injustices.
George died of COVID-19 complications last week. He was accorded an Official Provincial Funeral Category 2. The funeral was held in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape.
It was a sombre send-off. Mluleki George was a committed and brave man which showed in his activism against the apartheid regime. He was convicted and imprisoned on Robben Island for his political activism in the 70s. But he applied that same dedication as a sports administrator and activist.
Speaking on behalf of the Eastern Cape government, Economic Development MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko described George as a selfless revolutionary.
“Whatever he did he was doing it selflessly without awaiting any gains. He was moulded in that kind of generation and that’s why I wonder where have we come across some of these tendencies we see today. People like him gave all their life for nothing in return”.
George is also remembered as a loving father. His son-in-law, Xolisa Bhangazi, says he was not a politician at home.
“I want to thank all the South Africans for all the support they gave to us. Tata loved people and would have appreciated that. As a family we also want to thank the government for giving u Tata a state funeral. We believe he deserved it for his political activism. When he was at home he was not a politician, not a sports administrator but he was a father. Therefore we are going to miss the father who showed love to us and to people as well”.
George was also heavily involved in sports administration, and those efforts and the impact he had on creating unified sports bodies have been lauded.
The president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Barry Hendricks, says George was steadfast and brave with everything he committed to, saying he taught his contemporaries a lot.
“His principles and values of non-racialism, human rights and bravery. His unselfish approach to sports unification and development and his unmatched negotiating skills. He was a gift to us and we were lucky he shared his time with us. We continue to strive to work towards his vision and ideals. We will work to entrench and grow his legacy”.
George is survived by his mother, his wife, three daughters and grandchildren. Yanga Funai in Bhisho.