Albertina Sisulu buried next to Walter

2011-06-11 14:24

Albertina Sisulu made her final journey to the Coerus Cemetery in Johannesburg today where she was buried next to her husband Walter.

The coffin was brought to the burial site by various members of the national defence force.

The guard of honour stood in line to give Sisulu a military send-off.

Family and local and foreign dignitaries sat in a white marquee next to the burial site.

Bouquets of white and an assortment of pink roses were placed around the burial shaft.

The South African flag draped over the coffin was removed and the coffin was lowered into the grave.

The tombstone was revealed and a last blessing was given.

Emotional family members were given the opportunity to pay their last respects and throw a handful of sand into the grave. Some also threw in roses.
Government officials and dignitaries followed.

These included Max Sisulu, Speaker in Parliament and daughter Lindiwe Sisulu, the national Minister of Defence and Military Veterans.

President Jacob Zuma and his wife Nompumelelo Ntuli, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and ANC Youth League President Julius Malema were also in attendance.

Zuma, who delivered an eulogy at Orlando Stadium in Soweto earlier in the day, said Sisulu’s name had become synonymous with the struggle for freedom, justice, human rights and human dignity.

“We are laying to rest a stalwart and mother of the nation, who combined resilience and fortitude in fighting colonial oppression and apartheid, with compassion for the poor and the downtrodden.”

Zuma said very few people could say they had served their country and people with the dedication, commitment, sacrifice, loyalty and respect that Mama Sisulu had done.

Sisulu died aged 92 while watching TV at home last Thursday.

In 1994 she was elected to the first democratic Parliament, which she served until retiring four years later.

She was a deputy president of the ANC Women’s League, a nurse and a midwife, and took part in the formation of the United Democratic Front, the 1956 anti-pass march to the Union Buildings and the launch of the Freedom Charter.

Zuma extended condolences on behalf of government and the country to the Sisulu family.

“Your loss is our loss, your pain our pain. Few countries are blessed with a mother of the nation of the calibre of Mama Sisulu.

“Hamba kahle Mama Wethu! Siyohlala sikukhumbula njalo,” Zuma said. 

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