Colin Rani was a friend with a passion for social justice, solving labour disputes — and jazz.

Sigqibo Colin Rani – who passed away this week after contracting Covid-19 – was a dedicated labour mediator and arbitrator driven by the need to adhere to the principles of fairness and social justice.

Rani, 60, was born to Nolusapho and Lizo Rani in the village of Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape on 30 April 1960. He completed his schooling at Freemantle Secondary School and his tertiary education at the University of the Western Cape, where he graduated with an honours degree in development studies. He also obtained a diploma in labour relations at Damelin.

After graduating, he joined the then Chemical Workers Industrial Union (CWIU). He joined the labour movement in 1987, at a time when trade union federation Cosatu was on the rise. He rose through the ranks and was a member of the provincial leadership of the CWIU by the time he left.

In addition to being a formidable trade union leader serving workers in the chemical industry, Rani was a devoted family man. He met his wife, Thozama, in 1992 and they married in December 1996. They had three…

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