Mandela bids farewell to Sisulu

2011-06-11 12:47

Johannesburg - Albertina Sisulu was a part of former President Nelson Mandela’s being, his wife Graca Michel read on behalf of her husband at Sisulu’s funeral in Soweto on Saturday.

“I want to bid farewell to a comrade and friend,” Michel read to the crowd at Orlando Stadium.

“You are part of my being, you and Walter...I want to express my deep gratitude to you.”

In his message to Sisulu, Mandela said for the first time it was not him consoling the family but them consoling him.

He said he hoped the Sisulu and Mandela families would continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder as they had done in the past.

“The years have taken the toll on us, one-by-one friends and comrades have passed on and it feels like a part of oneself has been cut off.”

He said Sisulu, his “beloved sister”, was the biggest loss.

He would have loved to have been at the funeral to pay his personal respects but it was “too painful to see you go”.

He said he could imagine Sisulu meeting other comrades who had gone before her and named a few such as her husband Walter Sisulu, former anti-apartheid politician Oliver Tambo and former activist Helen Joseph.

"Thank you for your love. Big hug to all our comrades. Your brother Madiba.”

Sisulu’s son and Speaker in Parliament Max Sisulu said his mother was the centre of her children’s lives.

“She was a dominant presence in our lives and it will be difficult to imagine life without her,” he said during a tribute to his mother on behalf of his siblings.

Sisulu’s grandson Ginyi Sisulu, paid tribute to his grandmother on behalf of all the grandchildren, saying "She taught us to always behave in a dignified way…when she scolded us we were deeply hurt”.

Sisulu is survived by seven children, 25 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

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.

Her funeral was attended by family members, dignitaries, government officials and ANC heavyweights.

Amongst them were Zuma and his wife Nompumelelo Ntuli, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, former President Nelson Mandela’s wife Graca Michel, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and ANC Youth League President Julius Malema.

Foreign dignitaries were also present. The Prime Minister of Lesotho Pakalitha Mosisili, Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda and the Namibian National Assembly Speaker Theo-Ben Gurirab were among them.

  • Theuns - 2011-06-11 15:58

    Motsokwane don't make idle threats, remember what goes around comes around and that what you wish on others might befall you. Remember that not only whites are farmers, blacks also. Yoni you probably are part of the Danville white trash who picked up a second hand cellphone in the dustbin. You are the kind of people that makes the blacks hate whites more. Leave Nelson Mandela out of your pea-sized brain, he can show you a thing or two about forgiveness. You both should grow up!

      sanodn - 2011-06-11 17:02

      Theuns: agreed! I wish South Africa was rid of people like Yoni. They have no place in the new South Africa. Dave

      S knot - 2011-06-11 19:59

      Theuns you are the kind of guy that makes whites hate certain whites more. Almost all blacks hate whites, point. Look at Malemas supporters, millions, KILL THE BOER. Do you think they are all sitting and reading these comments here and saying: Dammit Yoni, now I hate whites because of what you said. What about the comments of mshini wam, tshepo, you voice your opinion there too?? Huh?? And Yoni, you can't tell Theuns to piss off, his pee-pee is too small to hold, he sits. And sanodnhitghbfgfgdfg, whatever your name is supposed to be, has any of your family been brutally murdered (by guess who) by having had boiling water poured over them...NO!!!!, so until this happens don't say there is no place in the new SA for people like us!!! You people don't know what is going on, you people don't know!

      Yoni - 2011-06-11 23:18

      Read between the lines what Theunsie is actually saying: "You are the kind of people that makes the blacks hate whites more." By that he is saying "the blacks" were already hating whites before anything else happened. What a racist thing to say. Not all black people are like that, catch a wake up, you racist bigot. By the way, nice pic of you on the crapper, I think you're the last who should call people from Danville white trash.

  • sanodn - 2011-06-11 16:58

    Rest in peace, Ma Sisulu. Dave

  • twolips - 2011-06-11 19:42

    Ooooh, big boo-boo in this article. The lady's name is Graca Machel.

  • Pieter - 2011-06-11 21:24

    To the boneheads fighting here: wake the hell up. Apartheid is gone. We have bigger problems now. An economy that is dragging, AIDS, unemployment, poverty, crime, the lists go on. I just wish that all this childish sniping and bitching can stop and that we can stand together as one nation to get rid of all the SHIT that stops us from being great. Grow up.

  • mogape - 2011-06-11 21:32

    @yoni. You forget that this is a woman who lost 25 years of her marriage because of you f###n boers. Yet you talk ill of the only person who made sure that we did not throw you back to the sea. BLOODY AGENT!!!

      Yoni - 2011-06-11 22:13

      If that happened you would've been at The Hague by now, along with Ratko Mladic, Charles Taylor and soon Gaddafi. Better watch that filthy mouth of yours, my friend, and stop sounding so aggressive, you might just get a heart attack while you get one of your whisky-induced foaming rants. Strange how some people can only react with uncontrolled aggression. That's probably why so many of our beloved citizens get killed in taverns every weekend, because they cannot respond in any other way over a cigarette debt, spilt beer or their mother's private parts being insulted.

  • betko - 2011-06-12 08:52

    Me Sisulu was a proud, honest and people loving person. I have lots of respect for het and her family. Please stop your stupid comments. She was a better person to know, than all of your idiots with your grudges.

  • Stefan - 2011-06-12 09:10

    "25 years without her husband" BOERVOLK 109 years since the ENGLISH stole our country And Murdered about 4000 women and 22 000 of our BOER children.

      wartmonger - 2011-06-12 09:30

      @stefan another afrikaner bringing up the past but asking blacks to forget aparthied! bloody hipocrites.... and I beleive another version to your "by the fire tale" of the war my friend.

      Yoni - 2011-06-12 11:32

      @wartmonger: What is a wartmonger? Selling warts, probably genital warts? Did you try to spell warmonger? At least six errors in your post if I exclude your user name. No wonder so many of your comrades blew themselves up trying to set the timer on the limpet mines...

  • VM1 - 2011-06-12 14:20

    Stefan and Yoni Black poeple must not mention anything related to apartheid but it is OK Afrikaners to remind us of the Aglo boer war for Jews to remind us uf the holocaust hey yoni why the double standards or is the torah teaching you to be a bastard deluxe no wonder many nations hate the jews its poeple like you who give the jews a bad name ! ! ! ! ! ! 0 0 | Delete

  • Chris - 2011-06-12 15:09

    These dehumanising comments are proof that SA is so devided. The article is very emotional, Mr. Mandela is expressing his brokeness at the loss of his dear friend. Surely he is entiteled to his opinion!! Why use this forum to belittle a man who has taught us to forgive and to work together to establish a nation that has no inequality. I appreciate his expression of emotion. Maybe the youngsters do not know how it feels when dear friends are passing on. Mr. Mandela deserves more appreciation,and acceptance. He is a role model who stood for what he believed, all human beings have rites and should be treated with respect and dignity. Our past is not something to be proud of, but we need to apply forgiveness. I grew up in the apartheid era and am appauled at what i now see and hear. We were brain washed and wore eye blinders. When Mr. Mandela became our first president he strove to encourage unity and reconcilliation. We have all made terrible mistakes in the past and unfortunately we do not seem to be moving ahead, hatered does not heal. Our comments so often reflect our ignorence and hard headedness. Madiba thank you for your passion and commitment to all South Africans. I appreciate you and know that irrespective of some of these comments South Africans are good and loving people.

      USSA - 2011-06-12 15:30

      @Chris I have a thousand questions, but they are all surpassed by one which I will ask you: Have you ever...ever heard Mandela condemn farm killings or abuse of public or otherwise? The answer is never! What's yours?

      VM1 - 2011-06-12 16:23

      @US SA Why must he comment an anything !!!!! the man is retired and out of politics. If you have some issues that are bugging you why can't you use you elected representative - you voted did n't you - then make it count boetie - that is much better than spouting rubbish on these forums. In short - voetsek and stop blaming your fears and paranoia on an old man.

      Yoni - 2011-06-12 19:17

      Check out VM1's uncontrolled anger above. Looks like he discovered a new key today, the exclamation mark, hee-hee! Wonder what he sounds like if he makes threats like that. Strange that he's never heard of the atrocities of Mugabe, Obiang, Bokassa, Amin, Gadaffi, Mobutu, Lumumba, Taylor and the millions they killed - of their own colour. Maybe that's why he's foaming around the mouth, because white people were to blame for apartheid. If Africans kill tens of millions of their own it does not seem to count in his eyes...

      VM1 - 2011-06-12 19:34

      @Yoni Why do you need comments from poeple about you own social issues and problems. I can give you the same amount of names about atricities commited by Europeans agaist each other but my favourite is Auschwitz - there were no Africans there just the great doctor Josef Mengele doing what he enjoyed .

      USSA - 2011-06-12 21:17

      @VM1 Too bad you cannot read. 17 years ago when the farm killings started, he was not an old man. You sound quite paranoid yourself rather. Now eat your banana, and get back in your cage.

      bent5000 - 2011-06-13 12:35

      fully agree USSA! If Madiba says nothing about these killings, he aligns himself with the thug that sings "shoot the boer"

  • Numsa - 2011-06-12 21:20

    @ussa u talk to much i see u always making racist comments and caling people trols i think u should go back to europe and leave anc and blacks alone !!!

  • bent5000 - 2011-06-13 12:31

    Madiba should bid farewell to all the farm murder victims that his good friend Malema has condoned to kill. I've lost every ounce of respect for Madiba and until he says something about it, it will never return

      VM1 - 2011-06-13 13:46

      bent5000 Until white poeple condemn the white supremists in you families and you churches - let Mandela be quite. What have you done for our country - what has you grandfather done ecept take take and take while exploiting the black folks No comment until you also do something on your side - all the insults will not help - otherwise let the status quo continue-

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