Zondeni Sobukwe’s funeral no longer an official service

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The funeral service of Zondeni Sobukwe is no longer an official one and has been cut short.

This comes after tensions engulfed proceedings due to PAC factions demanding that Sobukwe’s casket be draped in the party flag and not the South African flag.

Deputy President, David Mabuza, who was due to deliver the eulogy at the funeral in Graaff-Reniet in the Eastern Cape, left the venue for security reasons.

Mama Zondeni passed away last week at the age of 91.

Government dignitaries have left the venue and the casket has now been draped in the PAC flag.

Government Communications Deputy Director General Phumla Williams says: “It is a sad day for Mama and sadly we had to withdraw as government. She was granted an official funeral, category 2, which then meant that the people of SA are saying thank you and we appreciate your activism. But because of the disruptions the government cut short the programme.”

Meanwhile Ntsiki Biko, the widow of the Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko, has described Zondeni Sobukwe as an extraordinary woman.

“Being here at Graaff-Reniet today to attend this funeral of this wonderful woman takes my mind back to the days when we buried our leader, our father utata uRobert Mangaliso Sobukwe on the 11th of March 1978. It was one of those sad moments. When you lose a father, it’s not easy, but today we’re talking about losing a mother, it’s even worse.”

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