Hilda Mohlomi, a stalwart of the Alexandra Land and Property Owners Association (Alpoa) has passed away at the age of 72, just after receiving her title deeds.
Mohlomi died on 23 September after a long illness.
Alpoa is fighting for the restoration of residents’ title deeds in the township, and Mohlomi was popularly known as the ‘Iron Lady’ in the circles of the association. She worked tirelessly for peace, serving on the Alexandra Peace Committee and the Committee of Displaced Persons.
She was buried at the Waterval Cemetery in Midrand on 3 October, a date on which she would have been part of the Alpoa delegation that was to sign a statement of intent with a government task team. This was to recommit the various parties to negotiations to resolve the outstanding issues on the restoration of title deeds and property rights in the township.
An avid taverner from the 60s right through to 2010, Mohlomi, who lost a son in the liberation struggle during the uprisings of 1985-86, joined Alpoa in 1987 and three years later she was elected treasurer of the organisation.
Her first challenge as a member of Alpoa came in 1989 at KwaNobuhle Hostel when a notorious campaign called phansi ngo mastende and phezulu ngo mkhukhu (down with stand owners and up with the erection of shacks) was launched.
During the political violence of the 90s between supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party and the African National Congress, Mohlomi was displaced from her home in 4th Avenue and had to live at the dilapidated old council building in Wynberg.
It was during this period that she joined the Alexandra Peace Committee and the Committee of Displaced Persons, and was instrumental in bringing about peace between the warring factions in an area that was then known as Beirut.
At the time of her death, Mohlomi, who leaves behind her husband Eric, had been elevated to deputy chairperson of Alpoa, and will be remembered by her colleagues for her contributions in the establishment of the developments in the Far Eastbank in the early 90s and River Park in the late 90s.
Her colleagues in Alpoa believe her soul will definitely rest in peace because she died soon after being handed her title deed, and she had partly achieved the goals of her steadfast resolve to fight for the restoration of title deeds for her people.
“Some title deeds for others may still be outstanding, but we definitely believe she will rest in peace as she had partly accomplished her fight,” said Alpoa colleague, Dodo Shiburi.