COSATU Western Cape statement on the passing of Comrade Alan Roberts

04 February 2024  

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Western Cape has learnt with shock of the untimely death of Cde Alan Roberts. Cde Roberts passed away on Sunday, 28 January 2024. His departure is a painful and massive blow to COSATU in the Western Cape province.

The Federation extends its heartfelt condolences to the Roberts Family. Comrade Roberts was a former Regional Secretary of both the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) and COSATU. He was a dedicated, principled, and exceptional leader who made an enormous impact in the lives of all comrades and his workers.

He was a true working-class activist. The struggle of workers always came first in his life, and he was indeed a hero in his own right. Comrade Roberts was a giant whose goal was to unite workers. His life epitomizes the best of what a good trade unionist should be.

This passion to serve the public, in particular the poor and downtrodden, to liberate his people from the most brutal forms of apartheid, took Alan on a long journey of activism from his youth in Mahikeng to Cape Town.

He was in many facets of the liberation movement from being a student activist to participating in the underground structures of the African National Congress and its armed wing, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), and the trade union movement.

After the achievement of democracy, he continued to make his mark in serving the public, including as a Land Claims Commissioner and later as an adviser to the Premier of the Western Cape, Ebrahim Rasool.

We have lost a dear friend, comrade, father and grandfather. But his legacy will forever live in our hearts.

COSATU dips its spear to the fallen hero that was Allan Roberts.

Hamba kahle Comrade!

Issued by COSATU Western Cape

For questions, please call Malvern De Bruyn on 060 977 9027 or Motlatsi Tsubane on 083 301 7499