Henry Mutile Fazzie was born on 3rd of January in 1924 in Stutterheim. Fazzie went into exile in the early 1960s. He joined Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) and underwent military training in Ethiopia. On his way back to South Africa, he was captured in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and deported to South Africa.Upon arrival in South Africa he was imprisoned on Robben Island. While serving his sentence, Fazzie practised as an unofficial surgeon, conducting circumcisions on young fellow prisoners, a skill that had been passed down to him by his father.After his release, Fazzie became instrumental in the formation of the Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation (PEBCO) along with people such as Champion Galela, Qaqawuli Godolozi and Sipho Hashe.
He was a leader in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and at the height of repression in the 1980s, is remembered for being one of the key political leaders to have waged a massive offensive against apartheid through a campaign of a total consumer boycott of white shops and businesses in Port Elizabeth.At the time the Consumer Boycott Committee which comprised people such as Jackson Mdongwe, Phumelele Stone Sizani, Ernest Malgas, Xola Makapela, Mkhuseli Jack and Mike Ndzotoyi among others, called on the regime to unconditionally release all political prisoners which included Nelson Mandela.During the state of emergency in the mid-'80s, he was imprisoned in St Albans Prison in Port Elizabeth for three years. Many of his fellow inmates were teenagers or not much older, and Fazzie was a great source of courage, inspiration and hope to them, as well as a teacher. He was an authority on the history of the ANC and gave regular history lessons in prison.
In 1983 Fazzie was released from Robben Island and returned to Port Elizabeth where he soon became involved in reviving the utmost moribund.In 1985 Fazzie was elected regional vice-president of the UDF,becoming one of the most authentic working-class leaders.The Consumer Boycott Committee also called for the unbanning of political organisations and for better living conditions in Black townships. One of the biggest setbacks of PEBCO where Fazzie served as its vice-president was the disappearance of fellow leaders Champion Galela, Qaqawuli Godolozi and Sipho Hashe. It was later established that they were killed by members of the apartheid regime's state security apparatus.He later served on the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) before becoming a Member of Parliament (MP) following the country's first democratic elections in 1994.
He helped fend off rent increases,staged a three-day local stay-away to protest threatened bus fare hikes,and later mounted the most successful of the many consumer boycotts of white-owned business that took place nationwide in the mid-1980s. The Azanian People's Organisation(APO) in 1985 Fazzie's home was wrecked by fire bombs.In the midst of the consumer boycott,he was detained without charge for three months in Port Elizabeth's notorious St.Alban's Prison. In the early 1986 he was banned for five years,the imposition of steta of emergency,Fazzie and other regional UDFleaders were forced into hiding;arrested at a roadblock in July,he was jailed without charge for almost threes years in St. Alban's,where he parcipated with others in the 1989 detainees' hunger strikes.Fazzie at age 83 after retiring ,he was appointed to fill a vacant seat in Parliament from 2007-2009.Henry Fazzie passed away in August 2011 in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife, Hilda, children and grandchildren.
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