THE life of fallen Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) stalwart Dr Tshehla Hlahla was laid bare at his memorial service in Mahwelereng township, Mokopane, in Limpopo on Thursday, August 24.
His unselfish service as a medical doctor prompted a call by Azapo for the renaming after him of the Voortrekker Hospital in the town of Mokopane which catered for whites only during apartheid. The call was also supported by other political parties such as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), United Democratic Movement (UDM), African National Congress (ANC) and civil organisations like the Mogalakwena Residents Association (MRA).
Hlahla (74) passed on in a car accident on Sunday, August 20, after attending to patients at his surgery in Moletji, 30km east of Polokwane. For this, Azapo said he was “the people’s doctor who died with his boots on as he was in the Moletji area to tend to the sick”.
“He loved his people, he loved black people, and he worked for them. His people loved him in return. Comrade Hlahla made contributions to the liberation cause without demanding recognition or expecting compensation or rewards in return,” the party said.
Speaking at the memorial service, former Azapo president, Dr Mosibudi Mangena, who was together with Hlahla, Steve Biko and others when the Black Consciousness Movement was formed said Hlahla’s thinking was moulded at an early age by his family.
“His thinking and the way of life started at home. His father played a role in his way of thinking and in the way he conducted himself throughout his life,” Mangena said.
Hlahla will be buried at Ga-Hlahla in the Moletji area outside Polokwane on Saturday, August 26.