Thabo Mbeki joins mourners ahead of mum’s funeral

2014-06-11 14:45

Former president Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele have arrived at Ngcingwana village in Dutywa, Eastern Cape, ahead of the funeral of his mother, Epainette Nomaka Mbeki.

Mbeki today arrived at his home just before 10am and was welcomed with a prayer as he mourns the death of his mother, who will be laid to rest on Saturday.

MaMbeki, as the elderly 98-year-old was affectionately known, died at the Life St Dominic’s Hospital in East London at the weekend.

Mbeki’s brother, Moeletsi is expected to arrive at the family home tomorrow ahead of the memorial service at King Hintsa FET College, also in Dutywa.

Mbeki, who sat quietly next to his wife and other family members inside a shack where prayer services were being held, appeared visibly frail and emotional.

Wearing black trousers, a green golf shirt and navy jacket, the former president often moved his head to the tunes of church hymns.

He listened attentively as speaker after speaker praised MaMbeki for the role she played in uplifting her community.

Inside the shack, as prayers were conducted, pictures of MaMbeki could be seen at the front with three burning candles next to them.

There was a sombre mood as members of the Dutywa Women’s Support Centre, which was started by MaMbeki, reminisced about the late struggle stalwart and her passion for woman and child development.

The former president often looked down as the women spoke of his elderly mother living among them as an ordinary woman without the privileges of being the mother of a president.

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