Max, Lindiwe Sisulu mourn their mother

2011-06-03 13:35

Johannesburg - Speaker in Parliament Max Sisulu and Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu arrived at the home of their mother Albertina in Linden, Johannesburg, on Friday as streams of visitors paid their tributes to her.

Albertina Sisulu died at the age of 92 while watching television on Thursday night.

Lindiwe Sisulu looked composed in her black suit as she entered the home where her mother had spent her last years.

Aides asked media and the public to "give her space" as she went inside.

A relative told the media there would be a prayer meeting at the house every night between 18:00 and 19:00.

"We need to get all the important people in her life her so we can arrange the funeral," he said.

Dali Tambo, the son of Oliver Tambo, was among those who arrived to comfort the family.

"She [Sisulu] gave me unconditional love," he said outside.

"She called me her son and I called her mom.... She was dearly loved."

Tambo said his mother Adelaide Tambo had a special relationship with Albertina Sisulu.

The mother of the nation


He said Sisulu would be welcomed at the "pearly gates" of heaven by his mother and other struggle icons who had died before her.

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

"She was truly the mother of the nation," said Tambo.

Other visitors included top ranking ANC and government officials. Sisulu's grandson Shaka Sisulu, who tweeted memories of his grandmother throughout the morning, also arrived at the house.

"Thanks to all ur messages of love and support. My condolences go out to u all as well, she truly was everyone's ma, gogo or koko. God Bless," he wrote in a tweet.

Former Methodist bishop and Congress of the People president Mvume Dandala told reporters: "We are all cut up".

"We came to offer the family our prayers."

He asked that all South Africans pray for the family.

Former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and minister in the presidency, Collins Chabane, were also present.

Mokonyane described Sisulu as her mentor and said the best way to honour her would be to preserve the freedom to which she had contributed.

Earlier, the family and neighbours brought out snacks and coffee for the media and portable toilets were also set up.

Meanwhile, people arrived at the gates to deliver flowers and food to the family.

- SAPA

Read more on:    albertina sisulu  |  max sisulu  |  lindiwe sisulu
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