Kesval “Kay” Moonsamy was born on 5 July 1926. He was active in the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) from the mid-1940s onward. In the early 1950s he served as treasurer of the NIC, and in 1955 he was elected its vice-president.

Moonsamy was arrested for participating in the 1946 Passive Resistance Campaign, and on his 20th birthday was sent to Ixopo Prison where he was sentenced to hard labour. 

He was a defendant in the 1956 Treason Trial from December 1956 until charges were withdrawn against him a year later.

In the 1960s he was forced into exile and worked in Zambia with the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) and the African National Congress (ANC).

In the early 1980s he served as the Treasurer General of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU), and in 1989 was elected as the last president of SACTU.

in 2015 the South African Government conferred The Order of Luthuli in Bronze for Moonsamy's outstanding contribution to the fight for democracy and freedom in South Africa. As a trade unionist during the apartheid era, he was among the leading people who actively fought against the apartheid system.

Kesval “Kay” Moonsamy passed away in Durban on 21 June 2017. 

President Jacob Zuma declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral for  Moonsamy. He also ordered that the national flag at all flag stations in KwaZulu-Natal be flown at half-mast on  the day of Moonsamy’s funeral.

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