“My father was a struggle hero who put his life on the line during the apartheid era and now we are enjoying the fruits of his struggle”, said Mulanga Muofhe, when accepting a Doctorate Degree on behalf of her late father Tshifhiwa Issac Muofhe. The former struggle hero had been honoured with a PhD in Laws Honoris Causa by the School of Law at the University of Venda during the 2016 May graduation which took place at the University Auditorium on Wednesday, 11 May. “As a family we would like to thank everyone who was involved in making this happen. My father was a hero who was not afraid to stand for what he believed in which was freedom for all”, added Mulanga.
The late Tshifhiwa Issac Muofhe, who will now be remembered as Dr Tshifhiwa Issac Muofhe was born in Musina in 1954. In 1972 he registered as a first year student at the then University of the North but due to financial difficulties during those years he was unable to complete his studies as he later dropped out. Despite dropping out at University he didn’t stop reading as his passion for books made him collect books-including the banned materials to establish his own library at home. His passion for books then drove him to enrol for a qualification in Theology at UNISA but he did not complete his studies.
His death came as a shock to many as the real cause of his death is still unknown even today. The late Tshifhiwa Muofhe was reported dead at his cell in Matatshe Prison on 12 November 1981. Just two days after his arrest on 10 November 1981. He was arrested together with Tshenuwani Farisani on allegations that they bombed the Sibasa Police Station where three police officers died. The two were arrested despite not being within the area of Venda when the incident happened, which left many questions among the local residents regarding their arrest. The police report of his death said that he died after he jumped from the police van when he was being transported from Sibasa to Matatshe prison.
“Let his spirit continue to live, as he was a hero to many”, said Mulanga. Mulanga the only daughter of the late Tshifhiwa Muofhe was only a toddler when his father died. Before his death he was also a founding member of the Bold Evangelical Christian Organisation (BECO) together with Cyril Ramaphosa at Mphaphuli High School in 1971. Despite being known by many as a struggle hero Tshifhiwa was a popular lay preacher in the Evangelical Lutheran church. In his honour the Department of Justice and Correctional Services has since made a proposal to the Muofhe family to rename the Matatshe Correctional Services to Tshifhiwa Muofhe Correctional Centre.
During his life as an anti-apartheid activist Tshifhiwa Muofhe established links with most banned organisations, travelling extensively through Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe as the Apartheid and Homeland Governments was continuously monitoring his movements.
Issued by: Department of Communications and Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525
Date: 12 May 2016