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Nephat Madlela - a Zimbabwe liberation war-national hero

by Iphithule Maphosa
01 August 2017 | 2963 Views
The Late Nephat Madlela
One after another they depart to the Creator, in the same manner they departed from the then Rhodesia into the wilderness in neighboring countries for the liberation struggle. This is the story of our Zimbabwean gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed their youth to face the colonialist forces in trenches.

Nephat Madlela, born in Rhodesia on 10 February 1936 did not ignore the call for freedom. He joined the great trek north into Zambia and was part of ZAPU's special affairs department that was expanded into the military wing ZPRA.

The rejuvenation of both ZAPU and ZPRA in early 1978 saw the constitution of a new National Security Organization structure under the command of current ZAPU President Dr Dumiso Dabengwa. His deputy was the late Noah Mvenge.

The department was headed by a number of directors and among them was Nephat Madlela who was in charge of Personnel and Training. Madlela was deputized by McLeod Tshawe. Others included Director for Intelligence Gathering, the late Cornelius Nhloko who was deputized by the late Alpheus Dube. Director for Intelligence Analysis Research and Administration was the late Swazini Ndlovu with Stephen Mbizo deputizing. Counter Intelligence Director was the late Gordon Butshe with Zephaniah Moyo deputizing.

 Besides the normal and usual duties as per his job description, Madlela also identified cadres within ZPRA ranks, whom he sent for intelligence training before re deploying them back into ZPRA units. This made ZPRA a very strong army with unmatched intelligence capabilities which could easily intercept enemy intentions.

Most of the cadres who passed through Madlela have served in the present government as Military Attaches. They include the late Nebart Madida, the late Stimela, and late Brigadier Mike Reynolds.

Having trained in East Germany in 1976 with the likes of Albert Ndambe, Joshua Mlilo, Roy Tshuma and others, Madlela is accredited with achievement of profound vision in the selection of cadres taking up training programs offered from friendly International Solidarity support to ZAPU and ZPRA during the liberation struggle. His intellectual capacity in decision making at most life threatening circumstances during assignments measured and delivered fairly. Madlela's extraordinary intelligence immensely assisted ZAPU/ZPRA to excellence in human and institutional security development in the most trying time.

The recruitment for the liberation armed struggle received imposters, blackmailed patriots and people of mixed home country work backgrounds and that sincerely needed the intellect of the likes of Nephat in explaining the shadows.




At one point, Madlela was deployed at the ZPRA HQ as Chief of Intelligence.

Nephat is remembered for his all time friendly cheers and he remained so in the heat of Zimbabwe after attaining independence in 1980. He is among those who went through series of ill treatment and imprisonment in the hands of the Mugabe led government-notwithstanding that these were colleagues who fought the liberation struggle with us as partners presumably for the same cause. He suffered not because he deserved it, but because he was Nephat Madlela who believed freedom speaks equality and justice for all.

Madlela lived a full life of love within the boarders of humility and political focus. Additional Honors for this man, father and master of intelligence in many respects leaves a legacy to cherish "intelligence in human security values". On 27 July 2017 he was called to take up his resting place at the Creator's feet and was laid on 31 July 2017 at Lady Stanley in Bulawayo.

ZAPU and indeed Zimbabwe recognizes Nephat Madlela, his deeds and his life in travels he shared to this end. Heroes do not die. Heroes take well deserved REST.

Lala kahle QHAWE….!

Iphithule Maphosa is ZAPU’s Secretary for Information Publicity and Marketing


ZAPU Madlela ZPRA


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Source: Iphithule Maphosa

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