MaMbeki celebrated as woman ‘who kept home fires burning’

2014-06-12 16:50

An emotional former president Thabo Mbeki looked on as mourners paid tribute to his late mother, Epainette Nomaka Mbeki, in Dutywa today.

The former president was today flanked by his wife Zanele and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng during the service held at the King Hintsa FET College near the Mbeki rural home of Ngcingwana, Eastern Cape.

The former president, who sat alongside other members of the Mbeki family and the AmaZizi clan, appeared relaxed but emotional.

He looked down as the obituary of his late mother was read in the packed hall.

The late struggle stalwart was celebrated as a brave woman who kept the home fires burning when her husband, Govan, was in prison.

Keynote speaker Sakhumzi Somyo, who is also provincial MEC for finance and planning, said MaMbeki was a courageous woman who lived to see her community prosper.

“She was a very humble person and worked very hard to see other people have a better life. MaMbeki was the embodiment of what all of us should strive to be,” said Somyo.

Mogoeng, speaking to the mourners, said it was not enough that people celebrated MaMbeki’s life, but that they should do their bit in their communities to change the lives of others.

“She was the mother of the nation. But we must ask ourselves what was the significance of her life. Let’s begin to sacrifice and be more relevant to the communities we serve,” he said, adding that MaMbeki’s was a life well lived.

He said it was about time South Africans did a brutal introspection and radical paradigm shift.

“It is time we go back to the basics. It cannot be correct that adults are afraid of their own children. This lawlessness engulfing our country needs to stop. We should stand up and find the courage that leaders like MaMbeki had, and ask ourselves where did we miss it. African renaissance starts from the heart and at home,” said Mogoeng.

Xhosa king Mpendulo Sigcawu also praised MaMbeki and the role she played in building the community, saying the Xhosa nation had lost a mother.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will give the eulogy on behalf of President Jacob Zuma at the funeral on Saturday.

MaMbeki will receive a special official provincial funeral and will be laid to rest next to her only daughter, Linda, at the Dutywa Cemetery.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.