MK hero eulogised
COMRADE PETER DAMBUZA IS NO MORE
Condolences have come from different quarters after the death of liberation struggle hero David Mbulaheni Malada, better known by his guerrilla name Peter Dambuza.
A feared and renowned soldier of Umkhonto weSizwe during the struggle to free South Africa from apartheid rule, he assumed the mantle of General Dambuza or, “The Lion of the Great North”.
He died in the afternoon of August 20 after a short illness.
Following his shocking death, condolences came from everywhere.
Following his death, the ANC Veterans league in Limpopo bemoaned the demise of “a soldier of the liberation struggle, a combatant, and a gallant fighter of Umkhonto we Sizwe who has joined the ancestors of the ANC and we are left wanting.”
“He died a few days before his family, friends and comrades were to celebrate his 66th birthday to honour his life and his contribution in the struggle for the liberation of our people, “read the MKVL’s joint message with the MK Military council and Sanco.
Malada was a member of the mayoral committee at the Vhembe District Municipality based in Thohoyandou.
Executive mayor Dowelani Nenguda said: Although he was a high profile leader given his important role during the liberation struggle, he remained a humble servant of the people and did not fight for positions.”
Born on 5 August in 1952, in Makonde Village, Tshipidani Prasini in Sibasa, he was introduced to politics while under the employ of the then South African Railways in the early seventies.
It was at the time blacks experienced the harsh realities of apartheid as a black South Africans.
He joined the ANC in exile during that time and he was part of the June 16 detachment.
In Angola he spent time at the Engineering Camp in Luanda but after the 1976 June 16 uprisings, he and other comrades were moved to Benguela to Nova Katenga on completing their training.
In 1978/79 he was infiltrated into the country through Zimbabwe where he was involved in operations.
On completion of some of the operations he went back to Zimbabwe and Zambia before he was sent back to Mozambique.
In Mozambique he became an operative of the Transvaal Rural Machinery.
In 1980 Malada was infiltrated into Swaziland and became the Chief of Intelligence of Transvaal Rural Machinery.
After the Nkomati Accord he was infiltrated into Mbuzini where they attacked and retreated to Swaziland.
They were again infiltrated back into the country with their arms to the then Venda Bantustan where he was the commander of the unit that attacked the Thohoyandou police station. During the attack he injured himself with a Bazooka on his hands.
During this attack, Malada and his fellow combatants were sported by the SADF but they managed to outsmart the enemy and ran into the Kruger National Park. They were once again spotted in the national park by game rangers, at that time he and his company only had pistols and hand grenades to fight the rangers. They then decided to run into Mozambique with Malada’s bleeding wound
Upon arriving in Mozambique they were helped by the Frelimo Army who took them to Maputo to the ANC comrades. After his recovery cde Dambuza was sent back to Swaziland to head the Transvaal Rural Unit taking over from September.
In 1978, he was part of a cultural group of MK soldiers who represented the ANC in Cuba Havana at the International Youth Festival. This is the group that came to be known as the AMANDLA group that toured the many European countries to raise awareness about the atrocities of the apartheid regime and raise funds for the struggle by means of cultural performances. Amandla group played a pivotal role in mobilizing the international anti-apartheid movement.
In 1981, when the apartheid regime attacked our comrades in Matola in Maputo, Cde Dambuza witnessed that massacre. We lost 17 of our comrades who had fought fearlessly and killed some of the raiding SADF soldiers.
During his time in Mk Cde Peter Dambuza distinguished himself as the most daring and most skilful soldier. He fought countless heroic battles inflicting unforgettable casualties on enemy forces. As a true Commander, he led all battles from the front.
The soberness in taking military decision at any given moment, made it possible for our cadres to deal with the enemy in their area of operation to feel the presence of MK.
On his return to the country after the unbanning of political formations Cde Dambuza worked in the ANC Provincial office, he later played a pivotal role in the amalgamation of the former Bantustans and the Transvaal Administration to form the current Limpopo Provincial Administration.
At the time of his departure Cde Dambuza was serving in the most dedicated manner as a member of the Executive in the Vhembe District Municipality.
Comrade Peter Dambuza was also serving in the National Executive of MK Military Council. He was opposed to the reckless and opportunistic recruitment of young civilians who are now paraded as former MK cadres when they have never received military training. He fought against the use of former MK combatants for ANC factional battles.
In the statement MKVL said: “Cde Peter Dambuza departs at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the serious weaknesses within the ANC and government, when the corruption and cruelty that we have witnessed in the procurement of PPEs and the distribution of food parcels, begs the question if the ANC remains the Leader of Society.”