Epainette Mbeki’s generation sacrificed for no material gain – Ramaphosa

2014-06-14 14:51

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Epainette Mbeki spent her life in the trenches of the struggle for peace, freedom and democracy in South Africa without seeking personal glory, distinction or material gain, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said at her funeral.

“MaMbeki belongs to that generation of our people who knew none other than the life of selfless sacrifice in the struggle to rid our country of the demon of apartheid colonialism in all its manifestation,” he said in a eulogy prepared for delivery at Mbeki’s funeral in Dutywa, Eastern Cape.

“They did so without seeking personal glory, distinction or material gain.”

Ramaphosa said the Constitution prescribed that all of us honour those who suffered for South Africa’s justice and freedom.

It also prescribed that we respect those who worked to build and develop South Africa.

Ramaphosa was representing President Jacob Zuma who was meant to deliver the eulogy but had spent the week resting from a demanding schedule.

Read: Back to work for Jacob Zuma

The deputy president said for those like Mbeki, the struggle against apartheid was inherently a struggle to reclaim their birthright as a people, as their citizenship, dignity and identity was denied to them by successive racist regimes.

“It was a struggle that necessarily resulted in deaths in detention and execution of some of the best sons and daughters of our country,” he said.

Mbeki’s generation was ready to sacrifice whatever comfort they could have enjoyed, sparing neither strength nor effort to bring to an end what the world proclaimed was a crime against humanity.

Mbeki, the mother of former president Thabo Mbeki, died in the Life St Dominic’s Hospital in East London, Eastern Cape, last Saturday at the age of 98. Towards the end of the proceedings, the funeral tent was evacuated because of the wind.


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