Zuma to attend funeral of Anton Xaba

2009-07-31 00:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma will attend the funeral of struggle veteran and fellow Robben Islander Anton “Mfenendala” Xaba at the Sobantu Sports Ground on Saturday. Xaba, who died in hospital last week after a long illness, is being given a state funeral by the KZN provincial government.

Zuma has also authorised that the national flag be flown at half mast at all all government buildings on Saturday.

KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize said the gesture was in honour of Xaba’s selfless contribution to the struggle for freedom.

Xaba was among the first recruits of Umkhonto we Sizwe sent out of the country for military training.

In a tribute to its stalwart, the KZN branch of the ANC described Xaba as one of its most dedicated and selfless freedom fighters.

He joined the ANC in 1953 at Emsizini in Durban at a meeting that was addressed by Chief Albert Luthuli.

The party’s provincial secretary, Sihle Zikalala, said that former President Nelson Mandela would fondly refer to Xaba as his “crazy comrade” whenever the two reminisced about Xaba’s uncompromising militant stance and running battles with the prison authorities on Robben Island.

Xaba is survived by his wife, sisters and grandchildren.

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