Hon Speaker, the EFF would like to express its sincere condolences to Mr Diale's family and friends.
He was born on 1 January 1936 at Ga-Masemola in Limpopo province and he contributed immensely to the development of the people of that province and South Africa at large. He joined the struggle for liberation in 1956 and never looked back since then until he met his death.
He died after having served in this Parliament for many years since he was elected as a Member of Parliament, MP, in the First Democratic Parliament. During his tenure in Parliament, he served on a number of committees including the Portfolio Committees on Defence and Safety and Security.
We learnt that he was a humble man dedicated to his calling as a freedom fighter. On 27 April 2011, the current President awarded him with the National Order of Luthuli in Silver for his excellent contributions to the struggle for democracy. Those who served with him in the previous democratic Parliaments are in a better position to give testimony about his contribution to the South African public and this House.
We should then ask ourselves a question: What is our contribution and value to the people of South Africa to honour such a good comrade? What value are we adding to a society to change the lives of our people for the better? We must agitate for the economic freedom of our people in our lifetime. Political freedom without economic freedom is meaningless. The noblest way in which to honour the departed soul is by selflessly serving the people of South Africa and changing their socioeconomic conditions.
Mr Diale joined the liberation struggle after the Freedom Charter was adopted in Kliptown on 26 June 1955. We believe that it is the democratic principles and values enshrined in the Freedom Charter and the struggle of our people that inspired him to join the struggle.
We are sure that he would have loved to see the implementation of the Freedom Charter to the fullest by the ANC-led government to bring back the dignity of our people, which was since eroded by the apartheid system.
He died not having realised this vision of our country crafted in 1955 by our visionary leaders who were particularly disturbed by the inequalities and racism that existed at that time.
We are quite certain that Mr Diale would have loved to see the inequalities and racism addressed and rooted out within the South African society. Mr Diale, as the activist he was, definitely would have loved to see a society where all have the right to occupy the land whenever they choose. More than 20 years since the attainment of democracy, our people are still landless and are being evicted and thrown off the farms on daily basis. We see on a daily basis our people being subjected to conditions of squalor, particularly in informal settlements.
They do not have access to basic services like water, electricity and proper housing. Many of them live in shacks. Their communities are characterised by serious social ills such as crime, diseases, etc.
The ownership of mineral wealth, banks and industries are still in the hands of the white monopoly capital and our people have gained very little from the democracy which we are talking about today. The ideal of free compulsory and universal education is not yet realised. Many of our children do not have access to tertiary education because of the shortage of space.
The current government has failed dismally to expand opportunities for our children to be absorbed into institutions of higher learning. Those who passed Grade 12 are not absorbed anywhere and they end up getting involved in criminal activities. We are certain that all these conditions, which our people are subjected to, broke his heart. There is currently a lack of leadership that is capable of bringing about the kind of changes that our people want in their lives. This is the visionary leadership that will radically and boldly address the socioeconomic conditions of our people.
Rest in peace, Mr Diale. Amandla! [Applause.]