Saturday, 12 December 2015

Y.S. Chinsamy (Indian Reform Party) (Passed)

A meeting is held in Ulundi between Chief Gatsha Buthelezi (Inkatha), Sonny Leon (Coloured Labour Party) and Y.S. Chinsamy (Indian Reform Party)

Tribute to the Late Mr Yellan Chinsamy
Former Leader of the Reform Party and
Member of the South African Black Alliance

By Prince MG Buthelezi MP
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party

Read by the Honourable Mr Narend Singh
Member of the National Parliament

VERULAM: 1 March 2009

The Chinsamy family, and friends of my friend and brother Mr Y S Chinsamy, leaders of the IFP and of other political parties.

It has really saddened me that a function to commemorate and celebrate the life of my brother Yellan Chinsamy was arranged without checking with me whether this date suited me. Unfortunately, when Mrs Helen Suzman, former Member of Parliament passed away, her family decided that there will be a memorial service held on this day. I accepted the
invitation more than two months ago. I could therefore not get out of that commitment which I made to the late Helen Suzman's family. It saddens me that I of all people should not be present when the life of my comrade and colleague Mr Y S Chinsamy is being celebrated.

Mr Chinsamy or "YS" as all of us affectionately addressed him is one of the unsung heroes of our liberation struggle. His contribution to the struggle for liberation in South Africa is yet to be assessed and properly recognised.

The Apartheid Regime was catapulted into power in 1948 when the National Party won the election on the apartheid ticket. As we all know this was a blatant ideologisation of Racism. The apartheid ideologues aimed at separating the people of this country on the basis of racial and ethnic lines. Whites were not to be separated on the basis of their ethnicity. But we the people of colour were separated along ethnic lines; not only did they intend separating themselves as Whites from the rest of us Blacks. No. They went further to separate us as people of colour as Indians, Africans and Coloureds. They were not satisfied with this. They went further to separate African people along ethnic lines. This was their grandiose solution for what was then glibly referred to as the colour problem.

It was as if according to their book, God was mad when He made us in different colours as flowers of his tapestry on the planet earth. This was the background of the madness of the apartheid bosses.

For us in this Province, the Indian people were brought into South Africa in the 1860s to give indentured labour to this Province's sugar barons. That was long before the destruction of the Zulu Kingdom which took place much later in 1879.

All of a sudden we were to have separate compartmentalised lives even as people of this Province. Mr Y S Chinsamy is one of the people who together with some of us decided to take a stand against this insanity of the National Party. The Regime made sure that we were not even allowed to participate in politics together. So they passed the Improper Interference Act, which forbade us from participating in politics across racial lines.

Mr Chinsamy of the Reform Party of South Africa and Mr Sony Leon of the Labour Party of South Africa, a Coloured political organisation and myself decided to undermine this separation of us by the apartheid bosses. We launched the South African Black Alliance which was composed of our organisations. We were later to be joined by the Dikwakwentla
Party of the Free State from Qwaqwa. We were also joined by the Inyandza Movement of KaNgwane.

The Regime had tried to intimidate me in 1976 when I was summoned to Pretoria by the Minister of Police Mr Jimmy Kruger in 1976. He had tried to intimidate me from allowing Africans of other ethnic groups from joining Inkatha. He said that I should confine membership of the organisation only to Zulu-speaking Africans.

I told him frankly that I was not prepared to do so. I stated that as long as the National Party recruited Whites of different ethnic groups, I would continue to allow Africans of other ethnic groups other than just Zulus to join my organisation.

That is the background against which we operated with Mr YS Chinsamy in the South African Black Alliance.

The Regime was very cute in using the old Roman Empire device of DIVIDE ET IMPERA which is Divide and Rule. They then came up with another divisive ruse when they set up the Tricameral Parliament. They now invited the Coloureds and Indians to join them in Parliament in Cape Town, leaving us the African people as the majority of the population out of it.

The pretext was that we as Africans were going to have our own independent states. In fact some Africans had accepted this fraud. When Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei were set up as "independent states", I and the Zulu people in this Province rejected this farce as an insane pipe-dream.

It was during this period that Mr Chinsamy was subjected to a lot of pressure to join the Tricameral Parliament. This is the time when Mr Chinsamy demonstrated of what sterner stuff he was made. He would not be blinded by any waving of these blandishments to agree to participate in the Tricameral System. This meant great sacrifice on his part. He sacrificed what would have meant a better life for himself and his family by staying out of the Tricameral System. A number of people who had been with us on the South African Black Alliance such as Rev Alan Hendrickse and the Coloured Labour Party deserted us in the Black Alliance. Leaders such as the leader of the Minority Front with whom we had been in the South African Black Alliance (SABA) left us. Mr Chinsamy stuck to the South African Black Alliance and stood with us through thick and thin. This was one of South Africa's greatest sons. I have much pride in sending this message of admiration to such a great principled leader and visionary.

Mr Chinsamy's friendship was not only just confined to politics. He was also a personal friend to many of us in the African Community. He was a close friend for example of the late African lawyer Mr Reginald Adolphus Vusumuzi Ngcobo popularly known as Reggie Ngcobo. Mr Chinsamy did so much for the Ngcobo family even spending his own money to assist them. Even when Mr Ngcobo died all of a sudden "YS" was there for his widow and family. Members of my family felt YS's passing away as much as I did. He was also a close family friend. During its season my children knew that uncle YS would send a bakkie load of "litches" to my home at KwaPhindangene which the entire family would enjoy for several weeks!

We thank Mr Chinsamy's family for having allowed him to do all that he did to fight apartheid and for so much that he did to alleviate poverty amongst the poorest of the poor.

We all pay tribute to this great South African patriot. Those of us who knew and worked with him knew that we were privileged to work with a wonderful child of God.

Narend Singh
083 788 5954

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