The community of Ackerville in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, bid a final farewell to one of its own on Sunday.
Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday.
While the number of those attending the anti-apartheid activist’s burial was limited due to the country’s COVID-19 restrictions, which allow only up to 50 people, some residents braved the rain and lined-up the streets to see Mthembu’s funeral procession off.
The 62-year-old has touched the hearts of many South Africans as he still stayed in the township and his wife continued working as a nurse despite the Minister’s status, something described as rare in South Africa’s political landscape.
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy in church.
He said Mthembu was a principled and humble man.
To him – Ramaphosa said – the Minister was more than a colleague and a comrade.
Ramaphosa says the Minister’s death has left a void both in government and his political home, the governing African National Congress (ANC).
Mthembu was born in Mpumalanga, 62 years ago.
He was a student leader in the 70s and rose through the ranks of the ANC – serving as the national spokesperson of the party during the Mandela administration.
He went on to become the party’s Chief Whip in Parliament during the Zuma era and was appointed as the Minister in the Presidency after the 2019 general elections.
Most South Africans who have crossed paths with him have said they will remember him for his humility, sense of humour, professionalism and forthrightness.
The Kunene family in Mpembeni, Kwahlabisa in KwaZulu-Natal, says government’s COVID-19 restrictions are violating cultural norms.
The family is upset after it buried a wrong body.
They learnt about the faux pas when their funeral parlour, Icebolethu, informed them a few days after they laid gogo Gumede, whom they thought was gogo Kunene, to rest.
Family spokesperson Mbongeleni Kunene is blaming the funeral parlour for this.
He says the undertaker only opened the coffin slightly and showed gogo Gumede’s face who had the same complexion as gogo Kunene. She was also wearing a hat similar to the one gogo Kunene had.
Kunene is worried that people will end up burying animals due to the COVID-19 regulations.
A spokesperson for the Gumede family says they realised that they were given a wrong body when they went to fetch their relative’s remains for burial.
They then alerted the undertaker to the mistake, who upon investigating established that gogo Gumede had actually been given to the Kunene family.
The funeral parlour at the centre of the controversy has meanwhile denied allegations that it did not allow the Kunene family a chance to view the body of their loved one.
Icobelethu spokesperson Nkosenhle Hlophe says refusing the family a fair chance to view their loved one’s remains would have been in violation of the law.
According to Hlophe, the law demands that families confirm the identity of their deceased relative.
However, he adds, they do this while they adhere to government’s COVID-19 regulations, which allow them to open the body bag for family viewing by one relative at a time – in the presence of a mortuary attendant who is wearing personal protective equipment.
However, the washing and preparing of the mortal remains by family members is not encouraged due to health risks.
Below pictures, show the exhumation of gogo Gumede’s body that had been buried.
Former PR councillor of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in Mhlabuyalingana Municipality in Mbazwana kwaHangaza, in KwaZulu-Natal, Jamson Mthembu has been laid to rest.
Mthembu died after a roof collapsed on him while doing renovations at his home last week Thursday.
His son, Jakwe Mthembu, says he fell on his head during the incident and died a few hours later.
Mthembu junior says the reality of the family’s loss sunk in when his father’s body arrived from the mortuary the day before the funeral service.
IFP President, Velenkosini Hlabisa, Mhlabuyalingana Mayor Nkululelo Mthethwa, Isimangaliso CEO Sbusiso Bukhosini, and other IFP leaders in the Umkhanyakude district were among those who attended the funeral.
Mayor Mthethwa described Mthembu as a gentle and humble man, who was not afraid to speak his mind.
IFP’s Hlabisa said they had lost a lot and no one was as loyal as Mthembu in Nkatheni.
He urged all councillors in the Umkhanyakude district to complete the house where Mthembu was injured.
“We are appalled by the latest tenacious, cold-hearted murders of police officers across our country, demonstrating an upward trend which now stands at over 72 police officers since the 2019-2020 periods. The killing of police undermines the authority of our state and our constitutional democracy, and should therefore be regarded as high treason,” says Popcru.
The union is calling on SAPS management to put more effort to ensure that police officers are always armed with well functional equipment, regardless of the type of scene they are attending to.
“Improvement of community and police relations is crucial in curbing this matter, and police leadership needs to urgently start focusing on improving the strategic, management and internal accountability capacity that will support professional policing. We believe this will enable them to better confront dangerous criminals and defend themselves and others using lethal force where necessary.”
The motive for Seroka’s killing is not yet known.
Suspects used his vehicle to fled the scene.
The car was, however, later found abandoned along the Denilton-Maklerekeng road.