Official reburial for ANC exile

2010-02-18 00:00

THE remains of former head of the ANC’s International Desk, Johnstone Mfanafuthi “Johnny” Makhathini, who was buried in exile more than 20 years ago, will be exhumed and re-buried in Pietermaritzburg in what State President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman, Vincent Magwenya, confirmed has been declared a provincial official funeral by Zuma.

The remains will be exhumed in Lusaka, Zambia on Saturday, repatriated and reburied in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday February 27, 2010.

“The South African delegation to the exhumation and repatriation service includes National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize and International Relations and Co-operations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

“The repatriation and reburial of the remains is part of the creation of new national heritage architecture for the country. This is to enable South Africans young and old to understand and appreciate the history of the country and its national heroes,” said Magwenya.

He also confirmed that Zuma will attend the re-burial, which will take place at a venue to be confirmed at a Saturday press conference at Durban International Airport.

An official memorial service at his birthplace in Ndwedwe, at Thafamasi Bantu Combined Primary School on February 23, 2010 will precede the reburial.

According to the ANC’s website, Makhathini left South Africa in 1962 after playing an important role in recruiting African nurses who immigrated to the then newly liberated state of Tanzania in the 1950s.

He was a principal organiser of the March 1961 conference addressed by former president Nelson Mandela, as well as the May 1961 strike.

Four years after his exile, he was appointed the ANC Representative in Algeria and in 1977 Head of the ANC Mission to the United Nations. Later he became the head of the ANC’s Department of International Affairs.

He died in December 1988 and his funeral was attended by friends and anti-apartheid activists from around the world.

His memorial service in South Africa, scheduled for December 14, 1988, was banned under the State of Emergency regulations at the time.

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