Veteran ANC MP Dies After Long Illness

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

By Asiphe Mgama

African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament, Trevor Bonhomme has died. According to a statement issued by ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu, Bonhomme passed away Saturday.

“It is with great sadness that the Office of the Chief Whip has learned of the passing of ANC MP comrade Trevor Bonhomme,” said the statement.

He was a deployee from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), passed away after a long illness on Saturday, 29 July 2017 at the age of 75. He served on the Portfolio Committees on Environmental Affairs and SCOPA as a full and alternate member respectively from the commencement of the 5th term of Parliament until his illness prevented him from traveling.

According to ANC KZN spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli, “Bonhomme distinguished himself as an outstanding cadre of the ANC and he had served as a member of parliament since 2006 to date. He joined the struggle at an early age and was active in various structures of the ANC underground, the Mass Democratic Movement, and  the United Democratic Front.”

“In 1980 comrade Bonhomme helped to launch the Durban Housing Action Committee campaigning for tenants’ rights across the racial divide. Thereafter, he went on to become a founding member of the United Committee for Concern and the United Democratic Front in Natal.

In 1989, days before he was to lead 10 000 protestors for a protest swim at a whites only beach in Durban, he was arrested and imprisoned. He spent two months in prison and was released under restriction. After the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, he formally joined the party and served in various capacities within local government.

He was first deployed to the National Assembly as a Member of Parliament in 2006. In 2013, his attendance in the National Assembly was at 94%. He became ill in 2014 and his attendance dropped thereafter due to his ailing health.

Banhomme is survived by his wife Lorraine, who always stood by him, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren,” said the statement.

“The ANC in Parliament is deeply saddened to lose a comrade of Cde Banhomme’s calibre. He was a warrior for social justice and a humble people’s servant,” conclude the statement.

“His record of attendance in parliament was also highly commendable. His only absences were on account of his ill health. Cde Bonhomme leaves us a powerful legacy of relentless activism, spotless integrity, and the highest organisational discipline. We will miss his good humour and constant readiness to get down to work.

“[The] ANC dips its revolutionary banner in honour of this outstanding stalwart of our struggle for liberation and social emancipation. The ANC conveys its deepest condolences to his family, relatives, friends, and comrades in our movement,” Ntuli added.