A former commissioner of the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Elliot Khoza Mgojo has died in a
Pietermaritzburg healthcare centre at the age of 80.
He has served as president
of South African Council of Churches and head of the Methodist Church.
The recipient of the Order of the Baobab in Bronze took ill early this year.
He was a founding member South African Older Persons' Forum. The forum said he provided a moral compass to young and old. The late Mgojo had been actively involved in the emancipation of senior citizens as a spokesperson for the Senior Citizens' Forum.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier spokesperson, Ndabezinhle Sibiya says: "He often pointed out that senior citizens in the country, although vulnerable, are not regarded as priority. They are seen mainly, or many of them still belong to the past while the young people belong to be future. It was on this basis that he emphasised the need for government to ensure the participation of senior citizens in all the programmes especially in social community development and he was against the social exclusion of senior citizens in government."
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in KwaZulu-Natal has expressed its condolences to the ANC and the family of struggle veteran. Cosatu provincial secretary, Zet Luzipo says Mgojo worked closely with the working classes and played a part in bringing peace to the province.
"He worked quite tirelessly with Cosatu during the period of violence in the province. He was part of those who wanted to make sure that there was peace and stability in our province of KwaZulu-Natal. We must say that he is leaving at a time where he was beginning to enjoy the fruits of ensuring that this country gets liberated. He is one of the rare breed of the people of the cloth who saw that spreading the word of God must be consistent with the improvement of the conditions of our people."
The South African TRC was set up by the Government of National Unity to help deal with what happened under apartheid. The conflict during the period resulted in violence and human rights abuses from all sides. No section of society escaped the abuses.
The TRC was based on the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, No 34 of 1995.
He spoke out fearlessly against the Apartheid government. A Harvard graduate, he led the National Church Ecumenical Leaders to meet with the National Party government. In 1998, he was an Eminent Guest of the Vatican, together with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Reverend Frank Chikane.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal also sent their condolences, describing Mgojo as a "distinguished" leader and an excellent human being.