Monday November 20, 2023

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] dips its revolutionary banner following the passing of Comrade Mam’ Gladys Mlangeni, the founding National Treasurer of the union.

As NEHAWU, we send our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and comrades in the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM). We wish her family strength and courage during this difficult moment.

Comrade Mam’ Mlangeni was part of a rare generation of trade unionists and activists, a generation that was willing to sacrifice and lay their lives for the total liberation of workers, working-class and most importantly, the liberation of our people from the shackles of apartheid colonialism.

Comrade Mam’ Mlangeni played an instrumental role in the foundation of our union, and was a founding member. At the Founding Congress held in June 1987 in Soweto, she was elected as the National Treasurer. She was re-elected at the 2nd Congress held in 1989 until 1992.

Indeed, the national union has lost a veteran, an unassuming trade unionists who was passionate about the plight of workers. Her contribution to a militant and fighting NEHAWU will be forever etched in our hearts. One of the most defining moments in the contribution of shaping our militancy as a union was her role in the historic strike at Baragwanath Hospital in 1992. A strike that shook the foundation of the Apartheid Regime.

Equally, Comrade Mam’ Mlangeni was a torchbearer especially for women leadership in the union. She was unapologetic about the struggle for women emancipation and empowerment.

We will be poorer without her wisdom to guide us as we navigate uncharted waters in the changing terrain of trade union work, especially with the onslaught that is directed towards workers and working-class in general.

We will miss her serene presence amongst workers especially at our National Congresses. In her honour, we recommit ourselves to carry on her mission in the struggle for workers and the working-class.

Rest in Peace Comrade Mam’ Gladys Mlangeni.


Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: