Fallen APLA stalwart remembered
By Willie Mazambane
One of the finest young political products band one of APLA’s most tested fighters, the inimitable Jan Shoba, is no more.…
He fail in a hail of bullets fired by what is believed to be Pretoria’s notorious hit squads.
Jan Mandlenkosi Shoba, otherwise known affectionally as “Goebbels”, was a senior PAC presidential aide at the time he was gunned down shortly after parking his motor vehicle at his sister’s house in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, at night.
In his 15 years with the Azanian People’s Liberation Army, Comrade Shoba served the PAC army with distinction in various capacities, including at one time as commander of a key PAC military camp and as APLA’s Deputy Director of Operations.
Born in Pretoria on the June 29 1959, Jan began his education at Makgatho Primary School in Pretoria in the year 1966 and then he went to Dr. Nkomo Secondary School from 1974 to 1977, when he obtained his junior certificate.
Driven by desire to play his part in the struggle to liberate Azania, he cut short his promising educational career to join the mighty PAC later in 1977 before leaving the country through Swaziland to join the PAC external mission in 1978.
After spending months under extremely difficult living conditions in Swaziland, Comrade Shoba left for Tanzania, where he was to be one of the very first inhabitants of what was to be a vital multi-purpose centre of the PAC.
For the two years that he spent as a senior member of the centres administration team, he performed his duties with exceptional skill.
Soon thereafter, he began his military career within intensive commando training course in the People’s Republic of China in party and army building, a course that was to vastly expand his organisational skill, resulting in him being able not only to co-direct PAC military operations but also to play a significant role in the rebuilding and consolidation of the organisations political structure In the country.
He always took the toughest of assignments. This could hardly be unexpected. For on joining APLA he was asked as to which specific area of the military he wished to feature and he quickly said “Heavy Artillery”.
Comrade Shoba, who displayed exceptional physical fitness at all times of training was once described by a highly trained elderly APLA member as “the toughest soldier in the camp”.
Yet the man was equally as exceptional politically and ideologically. He saw his fundamental role in life as that of being “an asset, not liability” to his people.
Indeed, he was not only an asset to PAC and the people of Azania, but a treasure. His tragic death is an incalculable loss not only to the PAC but to occupied and fighting Azania. His death, however, will not be in vain.
Ran by Azania Combat (Official organ of APLA 1992 quarterly edition).
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