'We've lost a great man'

By Drum Digital
17 May 2012

A helicopter hovers above the Standard Bank Arena in Joburg and ministers and MPs sweep into the parking lot in flashy German cars.

They’ve clearly pulled out all the stops for the funeral of former minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs Sicelo Shiceka, and the guest list is like a who’s who of national politics.

Some MPs dash into the arena while others, such as Mathews Phosa, pause to complain about being photographed. Minister of environmental affairs Edna Molewa and minister of energy Dipuo Peters even take time out to hug and kiss.

“Follow me, just follow,” Gauteng safety MEC Faith Mazibuko shouts at the top of her voice as she leads family members and MPs into the fray.

They have to run to keep up with her. But they needn‘t have rushed because the body of Sicelo Shiceka (known as SS to friends and foes alike) is two hours late in arriving.

Metro cops escort the hearse into the stadium, its huge rear window showing a marron casket draped in African National Congress’ flag and surrounded by white lilies and purple flowers.

One of the first speakers to honour the sometimes controversial ANC veteran is Bonolo (12), one of his eight daughters. “He was not a man of few words; he was outspoken, driven and passionate,” she says.

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