Passing of ANC MP Comrade Trevor Bonhomme
31 July 2017
It is with great sadness that the Office of the Chief Whip has learned of the passing of ANC MP comrade Trevor Bonhomme.
Comrade Bonhomme, who was deployed from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), passed away after a long illness on Saturday, 29 July 2017 at the age of 75. He served on the Portfolio Committees on Environmental Affairs and SCOPA as a full and alternate member respectively from the commencement of the 5th term of Parliament until his illness prevented him from traveling.
Comrade Bonhomme's political journey began at age of 7 when he was thrown off a bus for asking why he could not sit on the "white" seats. His first protest as an adult was in 1973 when he protested against the American singer Eartha Kitt's visit to South Africa. In the late 1970s, he and his brother, Virgile Bonhomme led a Natal-wide furniture workers strike against appalling low wages. The consequence of which led to him being blacklisted and unable to find employment opportunities in Durban.
In 1980 comrade Bonhomme helped to launch the Durban Housing Action Committee campaigning for tenants' rights across the racial divide. Thereafter, he went on to become a founding member of the United Committee for Concern and the United Democratic Front in Natal.
In 1989, days before he was to lead 10 000 protestors for a protest swim at a whites only beach in Durban, he was arrested and imprisoned. He spent two months in prison and was released under restriction. After the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, he formally joined the party and served in various capacities within local government.
He was first deployed to the National Assembly as a Member of Parliament in 2006. In 2013, his attendance in the National Assembly was at 94%. He became ill in 2014 and his attendance dropped thereafter due to his ailing health.
Comrade Banhomme is survived by his wife Lorraine, who always stood by him, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The ANC in Parliament is deeply saddened to lose a comrade of Cde Banhomme's calibre. He was a warrior for social justice and a humble people's servant.
The Office of the ANC Chief Whip extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of comrade Banhomme.
ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE ANC CHIEF WHIP
Media Liaison Officer