MaMokaba laid to rest

2013-12-29 10:00

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Mother of ANCYL leader laid to rest amid glowing praise

To some people she was known as the mother of the late former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) firebrand leader Peter Mokaba, but speakers at her funeral painted a picture of Mapitsi Priscilla Mokaba as a political icon in her own right.

MaMokaba, as she was affectionately known, was laid to rest after a service at the University of Limpopo’s Turfloop campus yesterday.

Her son, whose funeral was attended by the late Nelson Mandela among others, was an outspoken politician who often caused trouble – particularly with his notorious “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer” chant.

MaMokaba took part in the ANC’s underground activities in the early 80s and her house in Mankweng township became an operations centre for the banned organisation.

The work she did in mobilising underground structures and recruiting new cadres to join Umkhonto weSizwe led to her family’s home being placed under surveillance by the apartheid South African Police’s much- feared Special Branch.

At one point, her home was bombed.

Upon receiving news of MaMokaba’s death, President Jacob Zuma ordered that she be given a state provincial funeral.

The service yesterday brought together ministers including MaMokaba’s niece, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Paul Mashatile, Dipuo Peters and Aaron Motsoaledi.

Also in attendance were former Limpopo premiers Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Sello Moloto, Cassel Mathale and the incumbent premier, Stan Mathabatha.

Speaker after speaker described 76-year-old MaMokaba as a disciplined ANC member and a staunch member of the Zion Christian Church.

Nkoana-Mashabane, the minister of international relations, remembered MaMokaba standing in the queue at the ANC’s Mangaung conference last year until after midnight to cast her vote for the new party leadership.

She said that like many older members of the ANC, MaMokaba was committed to the party.

“These old people love the ANC. They are the ANC,” she said.

Mathabatha described MaMokaba as a “caregiver and stalwart” and the one “through [whose] womb Limpopo was blessed” in reference to her famous son.

“MaMokaba offered herself and her children to the struggle. Even after her house was bombed and no matter how tough it was, MaMokaba soldiered on inspired by the love she had for the people of South Africa,” he said.

Mathabatha urged party members to be disciplined and to be driven by a love for fellow compatriots and comrades.

At the time of her death, MaMokaba served as a public relations councillor in Limpopo’s Capricorn District Municipality.

She was also involved in several community upliftment projects, including cultural groups and a football club for elderly women.

Three months ago, MaMokaba joined Zuma to lay wreaths on her son’s grave at the ANCYL 69th commemoration event in Seshego.

She has been buried in the same plot as her son in the township of Mankweng.

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