On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, I would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family, the Government and the people of Tanzanian on the sad passing on, of the late Brigadier General Hashim Mbita.
It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Brig. Gen. Hashim Mbita, who passed away on 26 April 2015.
General Mbita passed away on a day before South Africa’s 21st Freedom Day celebration, a freedom which, without the dedication and sacrifices of African stalwarts and the collective contribution of liberation fighters of the calibre of Brig Gen Hashim Mbita, would not have been achieved. South Africa remains indebted to all African compatriots who contributed to the liberation of our country.
It is for this reason that South Africa at her 21st Freedom Day celebration, had decided to bestow the Order of Companions of Oliver Tambo, in Gold to General Hashim Mbita for his unrelenting support towards African liberation movements and his profound efforts in ensuring the attainment of the liberation of the African continent. The ceremony to bestow the awards will take place later this year.
The date of his passing was also significant and symbolic to Tanzania as it was on the same day that the Republic of Tanzania celebrated Union Day which marks the union of two east African states, namely Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
Brig Gen Mbita was a well renowned Pan Africanist who served the cause of the total liberation of Africa. He was widely regarded as a fellow freedom fighter by liberation movements in Africa, particularly his active participation in the liberation struggle of Southern Africa.
Brig Gen Hashim Mbita also made a valuable contribution in his own country as he served under the founding President of Tanzania, the late President Julius Nyerere as Press Secretary and later in the Tanzanian People’s Defence Force before joining the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Brig Gen Mbita served in his position as Executive Secretary at the OAU for 22 years. In 2002 the OAU was then transformed into the African Union (AU).
Brig Gen Mbita remained in active service despite his prime age. We recall his latest and remarkable contribution in leading the ‘Hashim Mbita Project to Honor outstanding Leaders’, where he presented his report at the SADC Summit of Heads of State, which was held in Zimbabwe last year, in August 2014.
I also have fond memories of working with him as we assisted the people of Burundi towards peace a few years ago.
It is with heavy hearts that we reminisce on the life of our fallen hero and son of the African soil, a life that remains synonymous with the liberation of our Continent.
The Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Noma-India Mfeketho will represent South Africa at the funeral service today, 29 April 2015.
We once again extend our heartfelt condolences to the Mbita family as well as the government and the people of Tanzania.
May the soul of our esteemed comrade and brother, Brig. Gen Hashim Mbita, rest in peace.
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SOURCE: South African Official News