...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Former Spy Boss and ANC Leader Billy Masetlha Passes Away at 68
Billy Masetlha, the former head of South Africa’s national intelligence agency and ambassador to Algeria, has passed away at the age of 68.
The Department of International Relations & Co-operations (Dirco) confirmed his death on Sunday, following a prolonged illness.
Masetlha had a distinguished career in intelligence and politics but faced challenges, including his dismissal as director of intelligence by former President Thabo Mbeki in 2006.
Masetlha’s Illness and Passing:
After battling a long-term illness, Billy Masetlha passed away earlier on Sunday.
His health had been a concern for some time, and his passing marks the end of a significant chapter in South Africa’s intelligence community and political landscape.
Dismissal and Relationship with Thabo Mbeki:
In 2006, President Thabo Mbeki terminated Masetlha’s role as director of intelligence, citing a trust deficit as the reason for his firing.
The relationship between the two had deteriorated, leading to this decision.
Despite this setback, Masetlha continued to serve as a senior ANC member and was elected to the party’s National Executive Committee multiple times, demonstrating his enduring commitment to the party.
Involvement in Political Organizations:
Masetlha played an active role in various political organizations during the struggle against apartheid.
He was a founding member of the Congress of South African Students and participated in the Azanian Students Organisation and the Soweto Students Representatives Council.
These engagements highlight his dedication to the anti-apartheid movement and his involvement in shaping the future of South Africa.
Tributes and Legacy:
The government, through Dirco and Minister Naledi Pandor, paid tribute to Billy Masetlha for his service to the nation and his significant contributions to the anti-apartheid movement.
His involvement with Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, during his exile in Botswana and Zambia further exemplifies his commitment to the liberation struggle.
Masetlha’s passing is mourned by many who recognize his role as a dependable representative and a staunch advocate for the ideals of pan-Africanism.
The passing of Billy Masetlha marks the end of a life dedicated to intelligence work, politics, and the struggle against apartheid.
His dismissal from the intelligence agency under President Thabo Mbeki did not dampen his commitment to the ANC and the vision of a free and democratic South Africa.
Masetlha’s contributions to the nation and his involvement in various political organizations will be remembered as part of his lasting legacy.