It is with immense sorrow that we mourn the untimely passing of the General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Comrade David Kolekile Sipunzi. As part of his commitment to the struggle of the workers for a better life, Sipunzi also served at the global level as one of the Vice Presidents of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). The South African Communist Party (SACP) expresses its message of sincere condolences to Sipunzi’s family, the NUM and the WFTU for the great loss encountered.

“The family of Comrade David Kolekile Sipunzi confirmed that he passed on at 11 AM this morning”, said Comrade William Mabapa, NUM Deputy General Secretary, in a statement issued by the union on Friday, 25 December 2020 announcing the sad news. “The cause of death is still unknown”, said the NUM. The family will communicate details in due course.

The workers will remember Sipunzi for his commitment to advancing their struggles. His leadership of the NUM coincided with capitalist bosses in the mining sector intensifying restructuring to protect profitability and maximise profits in reaction to the persisting aftermath of the global economic crisis that broke out in 2008. The associated stagnation, which COVID-19 worsened, severely impacted the construction sector. In the energy sector, Eskom experienced looting and governance decay. Cde David Sipunzi led the NUM in his capacity as the union’s General Secretary to overcome the crisis and its impact.

The SACP expresses its solidarity with NUM members and workers in the mining, construction, and energy sector in general in the struggle to achieve a breakthrough. The SACP reiterates its call for the labour movement to unite behind the common interests of workers. In memory of our fallen comrade, let us unite and together intensify the struggle against capitalist exploitation and looting.

Source: South African Communist Party – SACP saddened by the untimely passing of NUM General Secretary, Cde David Kolekile Sipunzi