COSATU mourns the passing of Johnny Clegg

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) joins all South Africans in mourning the loss of one of this country’s greatest sons, Johnny Clegg.

We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Johnny Clegg showed all South Africans and the world what was possible for this country. He was a led the way in that he dismantled the apartheid theories and embraced the diversity of all South Africans to the chagrin of apartheid architects and stooges.  

Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu’s decision to form the Juluka Band showed in one simple move the lunacy that was apartheid.  It was not an easy choice because the then SABC and other media outlets refused to play their music despite its overwhelming popularity.

Juluka defied the harsh censorship laws and the real risk of being assassinated by the police hit squads to sing songs about unity and freedom. They also embraced a COSATU’s call for work for all.  Juluka showed South Africans, the continent and the world that despite the fascism of the apartheid regime, South Africans could and would live together as one.  Juluka’s songs inspired a generation that defied the State of Emergency.  Their songs did not just nourish and fuel the souls of South Africans but they galvanised millions of young and old, Black and White, rich and poor, to reject and break the apartheid regime.

The Clegg family’s loss is one deeply felt the entire nation; including all those across the world who rallied around South Africans’ call for a non-racial democracy.

South Africa is indebted to Johnny Clegg, his family, Sipho Mchunu, their colleagues in Juluka and Savuka.  They have left the nation and the world a beautiful legacy.

Hamba Kahle Johnny!

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794