The family of struggle stalwart, Violet Matlou, says their mother didn’t take part in the struggle for liberation to be recognised, but she did it for the liberation of South Africa.
The 92 year old Isithwalwandwe and Order of Luthuli recipient was laid to rest in Winterveld near Pretoria on Saturday.
The Matlou family went into exile in 1961 and settled in Lobatse in neighbouring Botswana.
Mourners consisting of families, friends, and Afircan National Congress members came in large numbers to comfort Mama Matlou’s family.
Violet Matlou is one of the activists who formed the ANC Women’s League in exile.
She was amongst the thousands who participated in the 1956 women’s march against the repressive pass laws.
The family, together with the well-known Keitseng family, were instrumental in organising the first ANC conference in exile.
Members of various political parties, including students from across Africa, held meetings at her home in Lobatse.
During her illustrious political life, she also received the Woman Real Architects of Society and Community Builder Award.
“When my mother received the Order of Luthuli, the next day she stood in my house put the Order there and she started crying weeping… and I asked mom, why are you crying? And she said, why are they honouring me… what about Joe Matlou, because I was the one who followed him to exile. I am saying no one is begging to put our name to fly, but we just saying this is the man Joe Matlou, this is what he did,” explains her daughter Boshigo Matlou.
Another relative, a retired nurse from Botswana, says the fallen anti-apartheid heroin encouraged her to further her studies.
“Mme Matlou got us through difficulties, she was very positive about everything that was happening she even actually asked us to forget about all other things that were happening and focus and be positive about what we went to Ghana for and we followed her advice.”
Her grandchildren say they will always remember her: “She was more than a grandmother to us, she was a shining light, she was a teacher,we just want to celebrate her life and remember her.”