Biographies

Violet Seboni
Early Life : Violet was born on 18 September 1965. She was a single mother and leaves behind two daughters: Lesogo (24 years) and Lesedi (12 years). Career Life: Violet was an exceptional workers’ leader. She was first elected as a SACTWU shop steward in 1989. She was most re-cently employed at Supreme Hat ‘n Cap, a Johannesburg-based clothing company. Her exceptional talent and dedication as a worker leader re-sulted in her quickly rising through the ranks in SACTWU and in COSATU.
In 1999 she was elected as the first female V Seboni chairperson of the SACTWU East Rand Branch. In early 2001, she was elected as the Re-
gional Treasurer in SACTWU’s Gauteng Region and later the same year as the SACTWU 2nd deputy President, at the union’s 8th National Con-gress held in Durban. She was elected as COSATU’s Second Deputy President in 2003. At SACTWU’S 2004 National Congress, she was elected as 1st Deputy President of this clothing, textile and leather trade union. She also played a leading role in the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) and in 2005, she was also elected as a Vice-President for the Africa Region of the International Textile Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF), a global union federation of tex-tile, garment and leather trade unions.
She was also a member of the Brussels-based ITGLWF’s international Ex-ecutive Committee, representing her union SACTWU. During her lifetime, Violet has served in all structures of SACTWU, from factory level (where she started as a shop steward in 1989) right up to the national structures of the union. She has served in the union’s East Rand branch structures, on the union’s Gauteng Regional Executive Committee, on the union’s Na-tional Co-ordinating Committee as well as on the SACTWU National Ex-ecutive Committee. Besides her work in COSATU, she was also an end-less campaigner for a better and more sustained future for clothing, textile and leather workers. She was also a member of the SACTWU clothing industry wage negotiating team for more than a decade. She has played a broader role to advance the interests of the labour movement in general, in many other areas. At the most recent National Co-ordinating Committee meeting of SACTWU, held in mid-February this year, she spoke passion-ately about the importance for a decisive ANC victory in the April 2009 general elections.
The union movement has lost a great worker leader and revolutionary heroine, a person who was passionate about a better life for clothing, tex-tile and leather workers in particular and all workers nationally and globally in general. She devoted her whole life to the struggle to liberate her peo-ple and build a socialist world. She will be sorely missed and her contribu-tion will never be forgotten. Violet Seboni, a great champion of the work-ers’ struggle Born – 18-09-1965 and Died -03-04-2009. COSATU’s Deputy President, Violet Seboni, passed away in a car accident on Friday 3 April 2009. Typically she died with her boots on, on her way to Mafikeng, where she was to participate in ANC election campaign. Her family, friends and comrades have lost a great champion of the workers’ struggle and a won-derful person.