Mama Jack leaves behind a great legacy

2016-07-21 06:00
 Violet Mama Jack will be buried on Saturday

Violet Mama Jack will be buried on Saturday

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ANC struggle veteran Violet Nomishini Jack has passed away in a Cape Town hospital at the age of 91.

Mama Jack, as she was affectionately known, will be buried in Nyanga this Saturday.

Her family was forcefully removed from Simon’s Town to Nyanga under the then Group Areas Act.

Her daughter, Buyiswa Jack, says her mother opened their home for struggle activists.

“We know the role that she played to us as a single parent because our father died in 1970 when we were still young, but she kept on and as a single parent, she was not only a mother to us, but a mother to other people as well, a mother to the nation, she was active in the women’s league and active in the ANC.

Mama Jack’s son Mziwonke “Pro” Jack was gunned down in 1991 near his home.

His killing was probed at a Truth and Reconciliation Commission amnesty hearing but Buyiswa said her mother will go to her grave with many unswared questions.

“In 2013 she asked me to write a letter to President Jacob Zuma but we still have not received any answers(to the questions) even now. We feel the state and the judiciary have failed us. No one was ever arrested for his death,” she said.

A long-time family friend, Mansoor Jaffer described Mama Jack as a stalwart of the movement.

“She was the rock in the community during the days of the struggle and she has a special place in the history of this country,” said Jaffer. He said she dealt with the death of her son in a stoic and calm manner.

“Like any parent, she was devastated but we learnt from her to be strong during hard times,” he said.

Buyiswa said they would remember Mama Jack for being a “people’s mother”.

“We never had our time with her because our home was always a sanctuary for all those involved in the struggle and those fleeing from the Witdoeke(rogue police),” she said. “Pregnant women and those going to the ANC camps in exile would be hidden in our home,” she said.

She was famous for he vetkoeks which received a mention in Andre Feinstein’s book After The Party. “Students used to come all the way from UCT just to get those vetkoeks,” she laughed.

According to Buyiswa, her mother leaves about 85 grandchildren behind..

Her funeral service will be held at the Gugulethu Sports Complex on Saturday.

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