Oration by the Minister of Police, E.N. Mthethwa at the Memorial Service of the late Minister of Public Service and Administration Honourable Radhakrishna Roy Padayachie, Pretoria City Hall, Pretoria.
17 May 2012
Mrs Sally Padayachie
Vindea & Trevana Padayachie
All Relatives, Friends and Colleagues of the late Roy Padayachie
Ministers and Deputy Minister Present
Comrades and Friends
Representatives of Civil Society, Political and Religious Fraternities present;
Members of the Media present;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
The sudden passing of our beloved Radhakrishna Roy Padayachie has saddened us and our nation. At this hour of need, our deep condolences go to comrade Roy’s wife Sally, daughters Vindeaand Trevana Padayachie and the rest of the family.
In the language of our forefathers there is an expression that goes like this: "The graves of the really brave are by the roadside". Like the courageous soul he was, Radhakrishna Roy Padayachie ended his life on the road, advancing the cause of the wretched of the earth.
While we have made great strides in the transformation, reconstruction and development of our country since we were elected to power in 1994, we are equally mindful of the many challenges that face us in our vision to fully redress socio-economic imbalances created by decades of apartheid. These include unemployment, poverty and inequality in our society, which compel us, our Alliance partners and the South African society, to act together around common programmes.
Building the economy of our country to create more employment, decent work and sustainable livelihood. Improving local public services and broadening access to all South Africans. Promoting more active community participation in local government. Ensuring more effective, accountable and clean local government that works together with that at national and provincial level.
His name had become synonymous with the struggle against apartheid and for freedom in South Africa. His efforts projected the South Africa people's aspirations and hopes for a better world.
A humble gallant fighter for freedom of the oppressed and champion of the poor in South Africa, the country has indeed lost a fine revolutionary intellectual. He could easily have led a life of comfort but instead he chose to sacrifice everything and fight for the freedom of his people.
Comrade Roy always kept his eyes on the prize: creating one human family under one heaven. Although seemed invisible this did not crushed his resilience nor his commitment to the liberation of the people of our country.
We believe that only through rallying behind a common vision and programme of action - as outlined in various government documents and the ANC, the organisation he loved so much, will we realise the fulfilment of what comrade Roy lived and died for.
When time demanded he organised and strengthened the underground structures of the movement. In this regard, his “insistence and punctuality and disciplined” proved to be extremely vital for our operations and survival.
While he lived, his humility, his self-effacing ways, his loyalty to principle, his avoidance of the self-serving theatrical flourish, his refusal to be defeated, the certainty his very being carried of the inevitability of the realisation of our hopes, brought light and joy to all our nights of despair.
In all his work, he distinguished himself as a scholar, a disciplined cadre, and a builder the death of Comrade Roy occasioned the sad loss of an intellectual who radiated an unfailing commitment and devotion to the struggle for freedom.
A true compatriot and pure-blooded democrat.
Today, we honour you for the masterful way in which you have used your political acumen to lead our country in challenging times.
We salute a comrade and friend, a leader in the struggle, one of the intellectuals of our movement and a fellow member of an organisation that has given so much to the shaping of our country.
Our country has been blessed with some quite outstanding persons; Radhakrishna Roy Padayachie was one such. We give thanks to his family for his quite substantial contribution to our struggle and to the transformation that has happened and is happening in our country.
We can be consoled by the fact that we are a free nation today because of his contribution.
An African hero has died. The name Radhakrishna Roy Padayachie will go down in the annals of history as a man of immense integrity, intellectual capacity; unrelenting in his determination to follow his own destiny, and on behalf of the voiceless, but always a gentleman.
Roy`s death reminds us of his enormous contribution to the struggle against racism and oppression in South Africa. His memory should make us redouble our efforts to achieve a life of dignity, free of bigotry and intolerance, for people around us and beyond.
During his life time, Comrade Roy consistently argued against the insanity of the apartheid system. He showed that it is incompatible with all basic values of a civilised society, but also that it is a threat to international peace and security. And furthermore he took action to help abolish the system.
The poet too evoked his being and told us how to walk in his footsteps when he wrote:
“And so History teaches with her light that man can change that which exists and if he takes purity into battle in his honour blooms a noble spring”. (Pablo Neruda; translated by Miguel Algarin)
During the past week, the entire country has been united in mourning the fall of a giant of our struggle. Messages of condolences have come from all over, giving a comprehensive account of the life of this great son of the soil.
The passing of this outstanding African activist is a great loss to South Africans. We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of this hero.
Many years from now, long after our children and even their children have left this earth, after several generations have handed over the torch of freedom - after the passage of many decades - young South Africans will speak with pride and admiration of the founding mothers and fathers of this nation. They will speak of one Roy.
He showed us by force of example that we needed no high-sounding titles to discharge our obligation faithfully to serve the people of South Africa.
Each day carries the burden of its past and the seeds of the future. To understand and overcome the former as well as to appreciate and exploit the latter requires men and women with the honest courage, intelligence and instinct of comrade Roy.
Sithi lala ngoxolo Roy! You have fought a good fight. Ayafa amaqhawe kodwa ziyasala izibongo!
May his soul rest in peace.
Tel: 012 393 4341/021 467 7007
Fax: 012 393 2833/021 461 7033
Cell: 082 045 4024
Issued by: South African Police Service
17 May 2012
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