‘Moosa Moolla a true servant of the people’

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Struggle stalwart, Moosa “Mosie” Moolla, has been described as a real servant of the people, who put the needs of the nation first.

Moolla died on Saturday night at the age of 88 and was buried at Westpark Cemetary in Johannesburg on Sunday.

An activist of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress in his earlier years, he served as a member of the Congress of the People national secretariat, which culminated in the adoption of the Freedom Charter in 1955.

Moolla was amongst the 30 accused, including Nelson Mandela in the 1956 Treason trial.

During his 28 years in exile, after escaping from police custody in 1963, Moolla served the African National Congress (ANC) in various capacities in Tanzania, India, Egypt and Finland. On his return to South Africa, he was appointed as Ambassador to Iran and Pakistan.

‘Guiding star’

Gauteng Finance MEC Jacob Mamabolo, representing the province at his funeral, says the late struggle stalwart was a champion of a non-racial society.

“He has put a brick which for many years to come will be a guiding star to many generations to come that we are better united in our diversity as a nation. That is where this country is going, So let us all learn from Comrade Mosie, let us make sacrifices for the benefit of humanity, let us unite the nation, let us build a non-racial South Africa, let us put aside all the hatred. The guiding star from Comrade Mosie is that South Africa belongs to all those who live in it.”

‘Amazing leader’

Comrade and friend of Mosie Moolla, Cas Coovadia says that as South Africans, we should work hard to fulfill the values espoused by stalwarts like Moolla.

“An amazing leader, a humble person who believed in South Africa. We tried to build a non-racial democratic South Africa and for various reasons, we seem to have regressed from that at this point in time and I think that more than what I remember that he was alive we need to remember his values his lessons is honour and honesty, another is racialism the other is volunteering to the struggle and not expecting to get anything in return and the other is to be just humble throughout your life.”

‘Courageous activist’

Moosa “Mosie” Moolla was a courageous anti-apartheid activist, who showed it was possible to rise above the evils of the apartheid regime, according to his long-time comrade, Mac Maharaj.

Maharaj remembers Moolla fondly, particularly the early days when Moolla was part of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress’s Picasso Club which wrote political slogans, some humourous, on public walls. The club had amongst its members Ahmed Kathrada and Babla Saloojee.

“They had a great commitment to the struggle but that commitment was made not as if the struggle was a burden on you being involved in the struggle was a liberating experience you felt you were standing up against the humiliation that you underwent and I think that South Africa should be celebrating his life because it is through the experiences of people like him that we begin to assert our own dignity and realise that we have a past which is more than being humiliated by apartheid we have a life the celebrates standing up against oppression,” explains Maharaj.

Moolla’s youngest son Abzil Moosa says his father did not dwell too much on his political deeds of the past, saying Moolla believed that there was much work to be done in the present and future.

“Those who survived exile and came back at times felt so guilty for being able to come back when so many comrades in MK and across the PAC laid down their lives for us. And it’s so important for us to take these lessons as a collective, our strength as one people. A lot of the principles that our founding fathers lived for have not been realised and we have veered off the path. It’s just a little to the left, we need to get back on it.”

Moolla was conferred the Order of Luthuli in Silver in 2013 for his contribution to South Africa’s liberation.