It was a heartfelt moment as family, friends and fellow members paid tribute at the memorial service of Comrade Tshepo Bongisani Mhlola which was held at Thembelani Platinum Mine in Rustenburg, Northwest on Wednesday 16 September 2015.

Comrade Tshepo passed away on Friday 28 August after battling weeks of  meningitis.

Members of the NEC, including the national organiser Dumisani Nkalitshane and AMCU President, Joseph Mathunjwa were among loved ones who came to bid the fallen hero farewell.

Speaking to colleagues and friends, President Mathunjwa said “At a time like this we have mixed emotions, because a thing such as death is not something that we can get used to.”

The loss of Tshepo is a dent to the leadership as we also lost Gauteng Chairperson, Jeffrey Mgayo.

President Mathunjwa eluded that comrade Tshepo will be remembered as a trustworthy and faithful leader.

“He was a man that did what he was designated to, as chosen by the workers. He was a man with good morals and dignity. He did not see a brighter future at the expense of the workers who had put their trust in him,” said the President.

“Tshepo has maximized the time that he was given by God on this earth. He was not a selfish man. His contribution was always in favour of the workers. We need more leaders such as him. Yes he had challenges but they never made him turn his back on others, he was trustworthy till the very end,” Mathunjwa added.

Speaking on behalf of the family Sandile Machitakali shared his childhood memories with the deceased who he described as a good friend.

Colleague who worked with him closely on issues of health and safety, Andy Phenduka said the loss was incomprehensible.

“We have suffered a huge loss as the whole of Thembelani Mine. “I do not remember him ever getting into an argument with a fellow worker, comrade or management. We have to let his spirit rest in peace, we have to let him go because his time has come. None of us can control what God has planned. God only choses the most ripe of us.”

You were just like a candle, full of light and comradeship. Now you have returned to the source of life in faith and gratitude, watching over us.