Much preparation ahead of MaMbeki’s funeral

2014-06-10 16:55

Preparations were in full swing ahead of the funeral this weekend of struggle icon Epainette Nomaka Mbeki.

MaMbeki, as the 98-year-old was affectionately known, died at East London’s Life St Dominic’s Hospital on Saturday morning.

She will be buried at her home in Ngcingwana, Dutywa, in the East Cape on Saturday.

The elderly struggle veteran, and mother of former president Thabo Mbeki, will receive a special provincial funeral after President Jacob Zuma confirmed the funeral category on Monday.

MaMbeki, who was well respected in her village as a community builder and one who was passionate about youth development, is expected to be laid to rest in a public cemetery in Dutywa, next to her only daughter, Linda.

Today, a group of men could be seen working on the grave site. Some were cutting grass and others were building a structure using cement and concrete.

Near the Mbeki homestead in Ngcingwana, a number of luxury vehicles could be seen outside the modest house. Young people were also seen picking up litter along the dusty streets.

Technicians from Eskom were spotted near the home fixing electricity power points in poles around the house.

Security officers and VIP protection unit police could also be seen ahead of the arrival of former president Mbeki and other dignitaries.

Municipal workers from the Mbhashe Local Municipality arrived in graders and water tank trucks to fix the road ahead of the funeral.

The memorial service of the struggle stalwart will be held in Dutywa on Thursday at the King Hintsa FET College in Butterworth.

Since news of her death broke on Saturday morning, dignitaries from all walks of life have been holding prayer meetings at the homestead to comfort the Mbeki family.

Among those who have visited the Mbeki home are Eastern Cape premier and ANC provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle, MEC for social development Pemmy Majodina and the chairperson of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders, Nkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima.

The outspoken MaMbeki, who was married to late Rivonia trialist and struggle icon Govan Mbeki, has been hailed by many as a humble and down-to-earth human being who led a simple life among the rural folk of Ngcingwana, despite the fact that her son was president.

MaMbeki is survived by two sons, Thabo and Moeletsi, a businessman a political analyst.

Her other son, Jama, was killed in exile, while her daughter Linda died in 2003.

Former president Thabo Mbeki, his wife Zanele and his brother Moeletsi were expected in Ngcingwana this afternoon.

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