United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, General Bantu Holomisa, says the past few months are the most devastating the party has ever endured.

Holomisa was speaking at the funeral of the UDM National Deputy Chairperson, Mncedisi Filtane, in Thanga Village near Butterworth, Eastern Cape.

The 73-year-old Filtane succumbed to the virus on Sunday. He was the third leader of UDM to have died from the coronavirus in Eastern Cape. Spokesperson, Mabandla Gogo and former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, Mongameli Bobani, were other party members claimed by the pandemic.

Holomisa says: “We had also met each other from time to time during my time as the then head of the Transkei government on issues of business and sport. I remember that he used to live in Norwood, a grand suburb of Mtata and now it sadly is the shadow of the former self. When Mr Filtane started to explore politics, he bought into the simple truth of the UDM’s main goal which is to better the lives of all South Africans. Our mission statement aligned with his personal values.”

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa pays tribute to the late Mncedisi Filtane:

Filtane was lauded as a community builder and an anti-corruption champion and his death was described as a major loss.

Filtane served as a Member of Parliament from 2014 to 2019. He was a member of the Eastern Cape legislature at the time of his death.

The legislature speaker, Helen Sauls August, says he was committed to his work. “He was a charismatic member of the provincial legislature. He was always keen on engaging in robust debates during house sittings and in various portfolio committees. He diligently served. There are one or two members of his party in the legislature but he would juggle in between eleven portfolio committees meetings.”

But he will be missed most by those closest to him. His son, Mphathisi Filtane, says they lost a great man.

“My father was a great person. He was very humble but also extremely confident in his abilities. A principled person as you hear from speaker to speaker. Integrity was the cornerstone of his value system. He loved his community and did everything for the good of his community. He loved his family and he truly led by example.”

Below is Mncedisi Filtane’s funeral service: