Philippi station must be renamed after Loyiso Nkohla Mabandla Station.
So says Mbulelo Dwane, an EFF member and friend of the slain community activist during his memorial service at OR Tambo hall in Khayelitsha, on Tuesday April 25.
Mourners included ANC secretary, Fikile Mbalula, Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation Pamela Tshwete, Dr Mamphela Ramphele and MEC of Health Nomafrench Mbombo at the hall, which was filled to capacity with members of various political parties who sang revolutionary songs.
Mr Mabandla was shot and killed while attending a meeting at Philippi railway station a fortnight ago.
Mr Dwane said his friend lost his life in helping the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to reopen the Central railway line.
“I don’t think there should be any opposition in renaming that station to honour his legacy. We will push Prasa to rename that station after him.
“He died in the line of duty doing what he knew best – leading residents. I also think it is symbolic where Loyiso died as it was a place he was fighting for, for the people of Philippi.
“Loyiso left two young boys, who are aged eight months and 6 years old, and Prasa should open a trust fund for those boys. He played a critical role in your work and in opening the Central railway line,” he said.
He described Mr Mabandla as a unifier who embraced people from different political parties and who was very dedicated to the struggle of better living conditions for the less fortunate.
President of Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement, Andile Lili, criticised the country’s intelligence structures, asking why they were not present when the government runs such big projects. He said Mr Mabandla was killed like a dog as if he was a criminal.
He called on the country’s intelligence to work hard to ensure that Mr Mabandla’s killers face the wrath of the law.
“He was shot 19 times. There are many who might have criminal interest in these projects such as extortionist, yet our government does not have intelligence structures monitoring their progress. If our intelligence was not sleeping on the job, Loyiso would still be alive today,” he said.
He said Mr Mabandla was brave, had a backbone and was selfless. He said he was not a power-hungry soul but whose mission was always about improving the lives of the less fortunate.
Dr Ramphele said Mr Mabandla had been “a conscience to a country that has lost its way”. She said he became uncomfortable with the huge inequalities around us and asked the questions which his seniors were too afraid to ask.
Mr Mabandla’s elder sister, Nandi Nkohla, described her brother as someone who loved his family dearly and cared about their well-being. He was someone who loved his mother and was overprotective of his family.