Durban – The Azanian National Liberation Army Military Veterans Association, (AZANLAMVA) is mourning the passing of a decorated female operative who helped it to clandestinely establish bases inside apartheid South Africa.
Azanian National Liberation Army (Azanla) was the armed wing of AZAPO (Azanian People’s Organisation). Sizakele Mhlongo passed away aged 51 at Kopanong Hospital in Vereeniging in Gauteng.
According to Mapule Molefe, the former Azanla Military Affairs Committee welfare officer and secretary for the women’s desk who worked with Mhlongo, said she sacrificed her youthful years to see the libration of the country from the painful yoke of apartheid.
“She represents all the unsung heroes and heroines who were in the frontline of a protracted war and whose sacrifices are underplayed or purposely forgotten. The multitudes of young people who gave up their aspirations and dreams to take up arms in a quest to liberate their people,” Molefe said.
Further, she said Mhlongo represents all the women who fought against injustices by the past regime, and faced added injustices against them for merely being women.
“Cde (comrade) Sizakele never experienced her youth because of the responsibility she took upon herself to fight for her people’s freedom – In the 26 years into “democracy,” there were days when she could not afford to buy herself the most basic necessities despite her sacrifice,” Molefe added.
Molefe recalled how as a female operative, she gave the feared apartheid security forces a hard time by evading them in order to establish bases inside SA.
This was all the while she was in exile and would occasionally sneak into the country to carry out clandestine operations.
“Sizakele was a courageous heroine who took part in setting up military bases within the country and giving training to Azanla cadres from within whilst evading detection by the regime. She and many other Azanla cadres demystified the notion that it was not easy to engage the enemy from within as was purported by others then. She fought alongside her male counterparts, supported and protected them on their missions.”