It was with deep sadness to learn of the passing of ANC Elder and stalwart, Bra Alex Mbatha of Dube in Soweto.

His daughter Shalo broke the news that he passed on following a short illness this morn. He was 96, if correct.

He was one of the liberation movements highly respected veterans. From the little I know, Bra Alex was devoted to the mission of genuine African freedom.

To his last days he was committed to help the ANC to heal itself, to reclaim its glory.

In fact, he was deeply dismayed by the rampant corruption, infighting, factionalism and what he called ‘politics of entrism’ where activists and leaders were self serving.

At some point, he was the chairman of the Integrity Committee. He was a moralist and strategist who believed in working behind the scenes, silently. He was the kind of father-figure, Wise Elder, veteran and leader who was happy to quietly share with those willing to listen and learn.

That is what made him the giant that gently shook the world.

He was warm, kind and welcoming. Quite open-minded and receptive to ideas.

Above all, he was self-effacing, humble and loving. The kind of man full of the milk of human kindness.

I am glad to have met soon him after he and family returned home from exile in the early 1990s. There are countless activists in Soweto who consulted and worked with him in the 1970s. They will be in a much better position to speak and write about Bra Alex. I am glad to have spent countless hours over the last 30 years or so deliberating issues of national importance.

He was sober minded, grounded, focused and deliberate in his analysis. For him, bsckground and context were always relevant factors.

He was a living treasure of history. We all the poorer for his death. But he ran the race.

He is at peace, now. Shandu !!! Give our greetings to those who went before you, especially uSis Khosi.Let them know that the struggle must not know victory. Aluta Continua

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