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Tribute to Comrade Sonya Bunting by the Friends of Cuba Society

29 March 2001

Until her last breath, Comrade Sonya Bunting remained a commited revolutionary. Sonya Bunting gave her whole life to the struggle for liberation.

In 1992, Sonya and Brian Bunting were founding members of the Friends of Cuba Society. During many years of exile, Sonya and Brian had experienced international solidarity with the struggle for freedom in South Africa. The time had come to return the compliment.

The South African Communist Party had called for solidarity with Cuba. Sonya and Brian were among the first to translate resolutions into practical action. At an age when many would have thought of putting their feet up, Sonya and Brian remained in the forefront of struggle.

As part of its commitment to the Cuban revolution, Focus has regularly picketed the Consulate of the United States to demand the end of the immoral and illegal blockade. Whilst many former activists, a third of their age, explain that they have had enough of demonstrating, Sonya and Brian would be the first to arrive at a picket.

In her life, Sonya taught us all many lessons. Sonya embodied the values of self-sacrifice, of commitment, of discipline., of hard work, of trustworthiness. There was always a devotion to detail which included accounting for the last cent.

We will all miss Sonya greatly, her cheerfulness, her warm smile with the strongest possible commitment to a humane, just and compassionate society.

We want Comrade Brian, and their children and grandchildren to know that we are with them in this time of grief. We are also immensely proud that Sonya Bunting was our comrade.

When Comrade Oliver Tambo was re-elected as President of the ANC at Kabwe in 1985, he said: Comrades, I am not well, but the life that is left to me will be consumed in struggle. Comrade Sonya embodied the same spirit.

Today a giant has fallen. The Friends of Cuba Society joins with the ANC, the SACP and the entire nation, together with the Cuban people, in dipping our revolutionary flags in honour of Comrade Sonya Bunting.

Hamba Kahle Comrade Sonya.

Father Michael Lapsley