Huge crowd at Albertina Sisulu’s funeral

2011-06-11 10:39

Johannesburg - Mourners started arriving at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday morning for ANC stalwart Albertina Sisulu’s funeral.

The ANC Women’s League, dressed in green and black, were leading those who had already taken their seats by singing struggle songs, whistling and clapping.

Images of Sisulu’s coffin making its way from her home in Orlando to the stadium could be seen on big screens set up by the podium on the field.

Family members, dignitaries, government officials and ANC heavyweights were arriving.

A larger-than-life picture of Sisulu printed on a cloth with the ANC emblem was laid out on the field with the words “nation builder and selfless leader” and “hambe kahle thole!”.

Albertina Sisulu died aged 92 while watching TV at home on Thursday night last week.

In 1994 she was elected to the first democratic Parliament, which she served until retiring four years later. She was a deputy president of the ANC Women's League, a nurse and a midwife, and took part in the formation of the United Democratic Front, the 1956 anti-pass march to the Union Buildings and the launch of the Freedom Charter.

President Jacob Zuma granted Sisulu an "official funeral category 1", reserved for distinguished persons, specifically designated by the president.

Zuma was expected to deliver the eulogy on Saturday. Several memorial services took place during the week with the official memorial being held at the Tshwane City Hall on Thursday.

A night vigil was held on Friday at the Holy Cross Church in Soweto.

Free transport has been offered to mourners on Saturday.

Commuters travelling from Vereeniging, Larella, Daveyton, Katlehong, Springs, Mabopane and Pienaarspoort would be able to attend Mama Sisulu's funeral free of charge, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) said in a statement.

About 500 buses and seven trains were in the process of transporting people to the funeral.

  • Yoni - 2011-06-11 10:56

    There must be a lot of free T-shirts on offer. Wonder what else is up for grabs, will there be different menu's for the elite - wors fried in Jack Daniel's and sushi - and the masses? I was there when the Nelson Mandela bridge in Newtown was officially opened. Even the old man's presence did not deter the people from jumping over barricades to grab more T-shirts than they were entitled to. The end result was that the police had to fire teargas to restrain those thugs from spoiling the event.

      Tereblanche - 2011-06-11 11:03

      Couldn't you wait until the mourning is done with before spewing as usual the negative side most South Africans like to pounce on. I wish we could be more wiser and progressive than looking at things from a perssimist views. Today we mourn a Heroin and struggle icon, true embodiment of strong African women.

      munchkin.ross - 2011-06-11 12:56

      Maybe some free chicken too

      cliffarc - 2011-06-11 13:36

      - Pardon my ignorance and without wishing to appear disrespectful, but exactly what did this women accomplish in the greater scheme of things and shape of the nation, to deserve all this pomp and ceremony ? Just asking - not criticising.

      cliffarc - 2011-06-12 11:50

      - Hmmm - apparently nothing that significant.

  • TypicalDarkie - 2011-06-11 11:02

    The elders of the ANC are sadly leaving us, worry about the future of the ANC and that of South Africa to be left in the hands of people like Julius

      VADERLAND - 2011-06-13 19:17

      Indeed typicaldarkie you're not the only one.

  • Jayden - 2011-06-11 11:08

    My condolences to the family but one question, why was nothing done at the states expense for PW Botha(who was also a struggle icon depending on which way you look at it), and I am pretty sure nothing will be done by the state when FW De Klerk passes on. Helen Zille is the current day heroin and struggle icon,true embodiment of strong African women, struggling to oust the corrupt ANC from power.

      mshini wam - 2011-06-11 12:14

      Was Helen Zille part of women who marched to Pretoria for pass law or maybe arrested by police or facing detention or house arrest etc? Talking about living struggling icon Winnie Mandela comes to mind and others who lost their children, husbands and family during struggle for liberation, not those who expressed their views without taking action.

      Johan - 2011-06-11 12:57

      Stompie Sepei comes to mind when I think of Winnie...the killing of Stompie. Yes poor folk, stompie's parents, who lost their child. And then there are all the ANC bombings, the killing of innocent people. Mmmm so sad with the loss of all the children, husbands and family, you are right mshini wam, you are right. OH YES, and lets not forget about all the farmers being killed!!! The struggle that still seems to be continuing in your peoples' minds...taking action and expressing your violent "liberation" views...mmm, you are right.........

      mshini wam - 2011-06-11 13:40

      Winnie contributed a lot during the struggle for liberation ask you fathers and your people from John Voster square, Union Building. I was asking about Helen political profile ..detention, death etc..thats what we endure during our time. Our mission was to liberate this country and we achieved our goal. Winnie raised her children without her husband for 27 years just like Masisulu. we fought white government and we won, we cant give back the government to them it was not borrowed but rightfully ours.

      Valis - 2011-06-11 14:00

      @mshini wam: I remember back in the 80s seeing Helen Zille marching with the Black Sash through Jo'burg and getting blasted with watercannon and teargas by the police. So what's your point? Also, you didn't "liberate" the country, you merely exchanged one oppressive regime for another. Ignorant moron.

      Yoni - 2011-06-11 14:21

      @mshini wam: Thanks for replying. From what exactly did you leebarate the country? I'm told that under Verwoerd infant death rates in government hospitals were much lower than it is now, and everyone had a job. There were not squatter camps but neat and safe housing for black people, most of which still stand up to this day. How did you fight and win? Please explain. Your so-called freeDOM fighters never posed a real threat to national security, all you attacked with success were innocent civilians with bombs in shops and restaurants, very brave men indeed. Just like today you are focusing on the vulnerable and attack in packs. Strength in numbers, eh? It was the outside (white) world and 2/3 of whites in this country who voted Yes that brought change about, not your so-called fighting. Now lastly, if all the above facts are too much to counter, just answer ONE question here today, where we all can see your reply: How many black people died under apartheid, under the notorious white regime's hand, and how many people died in the rest of Africa under black rule, e.g. the respective governments of Idi Amin, Teodoro Obiang, Jean Bedel Bokassa, Mobutu Sese Seko, Robert Mugabe, Charles Taylor etc etc. If that is too much for you then answer this one: How many civilians are dying annually in S.A. because of what is only termed "crime"?

      nzs - 2011-06-11 20:06

      Jayden, The family of PW Botha, who died during Thabo Mbeki's presidency, politely declined Government's offer for a state funeral (as deserved of a former head of state). Reverend Frank Chikane was the government envoy who was sent to the Botha family to convey condolences (and offer the state funeral). Well within their rights, the Botha family declined. That did not stop Mbeki and many members of his Cabinet from attending the funeral, to pay their last respects. I hope this answers your question.

      phillip.kabelo - 2011-06-11 20:27

      Jayden. There were two vision for SA. That of segragation and that of unity. The fact that there are problem now, it does not mean that we must forget our main goal - that of a future for our kids where me and you are not part of. It was messed by our division and lets give our kids a chance to enjoy SA better than how we enjoyed or not enjoyed. De Klerk was much more visionary than all the Apartheid Presidents combined and hence we must use our own senses. Tsoga

      Yoni - 2011-06-11 20:34

      Six hours later and still no reply from "mshini wam". I guess there's no way a freedom fighter can fight facts.

      mshini wam - 2011-06-11 20:41

      @Yoni, are you saying freedom fighters never pose a threat to national security. Your uncle Botha declares state of emergency in 1985 after we declare point of no return. We were prepared to fight til we die for this country. The spirit of Solomon Mahlangu was alive in rememberance of his famous words. He was a true freedom fighter just like tsietsi mashinini and many more who fought for freedom of this country. We never dependent on white votes for our freedom or so called referendum. ANC has been in government for 17 years and what are you expecting so far, outcome? They cant perform miracles over a short period of time, South Africa was under white people for a long time. So we are in the process of correcting the past. It will take time be patient.

      cliffarc - 2011-06-11 21:29

      - @mshini wam - So tell me , now that you've got your freedom from the apartheid regime, how exactly has that improved the lives of the average black person ? Let's do some straight honest talk, without all the liberation, fredom fighter tired old rhetoric. Now , unless you're on the inner circle of the Anc elite, you are worse off my friend. Education, healthcare,jobs,infrastructure have all gone backwards under your Anc govt. You claim 17 years is not enough - it would need a miracle of biblical proportions to reverse the downward spiral of your govt's screw up's and destruction of this country. I challenge you to enumerate the Anc's successes during their reign,apart from the self enrichment of the chosen few and the BEE recipients. How much 'correction ' of the past are we talking about here ? What do you want from the whites? Land, Farms, life savings or our blood and our total demise ? The thing you revolutionaries cannot figure, is when to stop fighting,looking back in anger and when to start building and moving forward. When to embrace your new freedoms and create a country of unity, progress and prosperity. Yoni, what else can we do to show these revolutionaries without a cause, the light ?

      nzs - 2011-06-11 21:59

      Ass Knot, You write as if you know the reasons for PW Botha family's reluctance for their declination. Congratulations for being a smartass. All we know (as history books will reveal, if you care to read them) is that PW died a very bitter man who never forgave FW De Klerk for stabbing him in the back, figuratively speaking. That is a far cry from a man who was "so aversive to the opulence" as you allude to. May PW's soul rest in peace, for his family's sake. And so Ma Sisulu's, for South Africa's and the world's sake.

      Yoni - 2011-06-11 22:37

      @mshini wam: The new government inherited a state with a working infrastructure. Why is it collapsing? Because of the crippling wave of corruption and nepotism. There is simply no accountability anymore. People who complain about it are seen a sell-outs or unpatriotic. By the way, you failed to answer any of my questions. In which battles did Mahlangu and Mashinini lead you to victory or did they just plant limpet mines in a Wimpy Bar? Please answer the questions I put to you, or are they too tough? You can't, can you, because either you'd be admitting to the horrible unmentionable truth or be emerging as a complete liar.

      mshini wam - 2011-06-12 06:51

      @Yoni Let me answer few of your questions. So many children died in 1976 according to my source approximately 194 children died and more than 720 detained..but I dispute that, so many people lost their lives more than this number...Apartheid government killed so many black people during apartheid Yoni, I even went to exile to train. We were involved in armed struggle just like whites who were training boys after they finished matric. we were in the brink of civil war. Thanks to our leaders Mbeki, Zuma, Ramaphosa, De Klerk, Mandela and others through CODESA. We are an example of good transition of power from white minority to black majority unlike other countries in Africa. We all know in Africa whenever there is power transfer from leader to another many people lose their lives

      Shakes - 2011-06-12 11:02

      Something will deffinately be done for FW De Klerk, I am a black man and I have tremendous respect for the man. I took guts to give our land back to us. He is a HERO

      Fudge Pecker - 2011-06-12 13:52

      @Mshini Wam: "we fought white government and we won" Get FCUKED, you won? International community won... had it not been for the Int Community (Sanctions etc) the white Government would still be running & maintaining a safe & prosperous SA.... If they every wanted they could have slaughtered all the Blecks!

      nvl - 2011-06-14 09:55

      I am sick and tired of reading these stupid comments about how the BLACKS fought for THEIR land and how happy THEY are to have THEIR land back.. "FW de Klerk I salute you for giving IT (OUR land) back to US (the Blacks)"....Shakes ??!....the land doesn't belongs to YOU, moron I suggest you follow FW De Klerk's shining example and give it back to the RIGHTFUL owners... The Animals in Kruger National Park.

  • SAtoStay - 2011-06-11 11:41

    Why are there no pictures in the newspaper? An official government funeral is under way for one of our greatest women, and there are only pictures of Japanese tsunami scenes on here. Nobody paying their respects to Sisulu is an idiot, and I think anybody who thinks so is not a true South African at all. I'm no ANC supporter but Albertina Sisulu was bigger than the ANC.

      Johan - 2011-06-11 13:03

      The ANC is so corrupt and failing in everything it does that even my dog is bigger than the ANC. The ANC no longer stands for what it used to stand for. And SAtoStay, the photographers must first take photos of the funeral and then they can place them in the news papers. Buy the Sunday newspapers tomorrow and all you will see is pictures of the funeral. Be patient dude :)

  • mshini wam - 2011-06-11 12:20

    When Zuma sings he remind me of our days in the MK camp in Lusaka and Moscow.

      Eric West - 2011-06-11 12:30

      Pity he never learned to READ, eh?

      Johan - 2011-06-11 13:06

      Oh yes I remember that too mshini wam, we all had diarrhoea and we were puking our lungs out. When he stopped singing we all felt better, yes he-he-he-he, I remember those days. It was a crap time that, hey my Bru?

      mshini wam - 2011-06-11 13:34

      Our mission was to liberate this country from white people. Some of us were detained in SA prisons most popular Robben Island that used to prison our cadres. Now we have achieved our goal, SA is governed by black people but there is still long way to go for economical emancipation

      Johan - 2011-06-11 14:02

      Mshini wam, I am afraid, but by the way your ANC is running this country you will never experience economic "emancipation" as you call it. The economy of a country is built up by hard working citizens and sound economic policy. There is no such thing as "freedom of the economy". Start working and build up your own business like other successful people in this country. You can't take some other persons successful business and claim it for yourself because you were oppressed. I know many black businessmen who are wealthy through hard work. Obviously you are too useless to do this, just like Julius Malema and his cadres. You also probably won't understand what I am trying to tell you here...

      Valis - 2011-06-11 14:02

      @mshini wam: You're a racist pig. We don't need people like you in this country. Go back to Lusaka you racist scum.

      Krolie - 2011-06-11 18:12

      @mshini wam I am still patiently waiting for your answers on @yoni's long still?

      S knot - 2011-06-11 19:13

      Krolie, he is "struggling" to switch on his computer. Guys like mshini wam are VERY slow to learn and that which they learn they forget very quickly. Mshini wam there is a button on your computer that states "power", press it, google news 24, open this page, post a reply to Yoni. You dumb idiot!!!

      mshini wam - 2011-06-11 20:48

      @Valis you tend to be emotional and not face the facts, people like you must go back to their homes not me. I am an African, my ancestors are in Africa and I am not suffering from identity crisis.

      mshini wam - 2011-06-12 06:59

      @Yoni I am responding to Vali not you. I never said you are not an African, where does that comes from? Do you suffer from inferior complex or low self esteem? You try to create perception I am anti-white, look I abide by Freedom Charter that says 'South Africa belongs to all who lives in it'. As people of this country we drafted freedom charter and we must follow it

  • Eric West - 2011-06-11 12:29

    I see my very valid comments have been deleted. Can't stand the truth, can you? So much for freedom of speech, ANC style! BAH!

  • ZACommentator - 2011-06-11 13:51

    The irony of the present 'leaders' speaking about her virtues when they possess NONE themselves. Even Mandela was a low rank Malema of his day, he just managed to survive. The Paul McCartney to the John Lennon if you will. And they mourn her, I doubt they do, even her own children are corrupt.

      ZACommentator - 2011-06-11 15:10

      @yoni, too right. I don't get the big hype around Mandela. A common or garden terrorist in my opinion.

      S knot - 2011-06-11 19:16

      Yoni, I love your comments so much now that I give them an automatic thumbs up before I've even read them! ROLF!!! "Festival" HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!

  • knalpot - 2011-06-11 14:45

    ANC Heavyweights indeed, they brought buckets of KFC with them just in case there was no free nyama

  • Faerie - 2011-06-11 20:32

    I only hope that all the people who gathered at her funeral today, will think about all the wonderful tributes that were read in Albertina Sisulu's favour. She was a good lady and I doubt if she had a vindictive hair on her head. She only wanted what was fair for all and I really believe that at the time, she did not realise how her efforts would be misinterpreted in the latter days. I am a white S. African, and I sat watching the relay on TV today, of that entire funeral ceremony, and cried when they reached the graveside to lay her to rest. She truly deserved that service, which was conducted in such a dignified manner. The struggle for human rights ended in 1994. Let us walk the future without predjudice and achieve what Albertina wanted.

      Yoni - 2011-06-11 23:05

      I agree, no vindictive hair. Made in China it was.

      mshini wam - 2011-06-12 07:01

      You inspire me Faurie..your words of wisdom

      Collitjies - 2011-06-12 12:06

      "The struggle for human rights ended in 1994" and started again the very next day. She was laid to rest on Saturday 11/06/2011 I was under the impression that she had passed away already.

  • pugwash - 2011-06-12 10:25

    I am soooo sick and tired of reading about this 92 year old who's time on earth was up! Thank goodness the service is over - now can we clear the roads in Linden and get on with our ordinary lives please? Talk about OTT!!!

  • Collitjies - 2011-06-12 11:59

    T-shirt, chicken and a "6pack Black Label" what more do you expect. Sorry and a free bus ride to the venue and return home. A days outing for the whole family.

  • simodi - 2011-06-14 09:15

    ur all crazy u haters.

  • Mike - 2011-06-15 13:26

    The very big problem now is that they (the ANCircus) are going to have to think up another slogan when Winnie the Pooh dies - I was led to believe that she (that wig wearing dragon) was the mother of the nation. Just by the expression on her face you can see that her nose is out of joint - our Winnie the Pooh! Or is she Winnie in the Poo?

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