Senior ANC and traditional leaders descended on Mpheko Village in Mthatha on Saturday to pay their last respects to premier Phumulo Masualle’s mother Dineo.
These included ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, former finance director General Lungisa Fuzile, Gauteng premier David Makhura, Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Western Pondoland King Ndamase Ndamase, Xhosa King Mpendulo Sigcawu, ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane as well as Rharhabe Prince Zolile Burns-Ncamashe.
Mama Masualle, 89, died last week after suffering a stroke. She had been living with the premier at his Beacon Bay home in East London.
Paying tribute to his late mother, Masualle described her as a strict parent who dearly loved education. He recalled how as children they would get a hiding every time they forgot to water the garden.
“It was tough for us as older children but I have witnessed that as she grew older, she became very lax and spoilt the younger ones and her grandchildren,” he said jokingly.
The premier said she also taught them to respect others and also the importance of remaining humble.
“We pride ourselves on where we got to largely because of her. We constantly had a source of inspiration in times of need,” said Masualle. “She taught us to remain humble, to love oneself and respect others.”
Mantashe, Masualle’s long-time comrade in both the ANC and the SACP, also paid tribute on behalf of the ruling party. Mantashe used the platform to charm church leaders, saying the ANC relied on them to serve as a voice of reason as it faced challenges, including factionalism and its leaders being implicated in scandals.
The 105-year-old liberation movement holds its national elective conference in December, and Mantashe admitted that the party “is in the mud” and needed new leaders to rescue it from its quagmire.
“When we go to the conference in December we rely on the church to keep us in its prayers such that we can elect leaders who will take us out of this mud,” he said.
“It must be able to call us to order because it is the last defence. Tell us when we go astray.”
Also present at the funeral was Water Affairs Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete, Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams as well as finance MEC Sakhumzi Somyo, agriculture MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane, social development MEC Nancy Sihlwayi, Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana, Public Works MEC Thandiswa Marawu, SACP provincial secretary Xolile Nqatha, and ANC PEC member Andile Lungisa to mention but a few. — firstname.lastname@example.org