Wrong face has Gumede family saying no to ANC T-shirts at grave

2018-01-10 13:30
The controversial ANC T-shirts being delivered to the ceremony at the Mountain Rise Cemetery on Monday.

The controversial ANC T-shirts being delivered to the ceremony at the Mountain Rise Cemetery on Monday. (Ian carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - The ANC local leadership has egg on its face after printing thousands of T-shirts bearing the image of a complete stranger instead of former ANC president Josia Gumede.

Gumede’s family members returned thousands of T-shirts that the Moses Mabhida region’s leaders had given to them during a wreath-laying ceremony at his grave at the Mountain Rise Cemetery on Monday.

“They gave me a bag full of T-shirts, but when I took out a few to hand out to a few people I discovered that the photo on the T-shirt was that of someone else.

“I don’t have any idea who the person in the photo is,” said Gumede’s grandson, also Josiah Gumede.

The ceremony, which attracted thousands of ANC supporters from across the region, was also attended by top party leaders. They included deputy president, David Mabuza and national chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

According to sources within the ANC, the T-shirts were meant to be distributed to ANC supporters at the cemetery with the rest to be given to Gumede family members for communities where they lived.

“I must say as a family we were both embarrassed as well as disappointed. It’s extremely disappointing that certain ANC leaders can’t identify their own presidents. “Our view as a family is that ANC leaders should have consulted the family if they were not sure,” the grandson said.

Sources within the ANC in the region said the service provider who produced the T-shirts had mistakenly used a picture of the president of the internationally unrecognised state of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia during 1979, Josiah Zion Gumede. “It appears the guy simply searched for the photograph on Google and when the name Josiah Gumede came up he downloaded the picture,” a source within the ANC leadership in the province said.

“We can’t blame the guy who printed the picture since it was the ANC regional leadership that was supposed to verify that it was the correct picture before any printing took place.”

SA’s Josia Gumede, who was a journalist before becoming a politician in the 1920s, died in 1946. He was ANC president between 1927 and 1930.

When contacted for comment ANC regional spokesperson Sphamandla Khumalo said he would comment on the matter later during the day.

However, Khumalo did not answer the phone when contacted late on Tuesday.

The KwaZulu-Natal department of the premier has recently erected a statue of Gumede outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall.

Read more on:    anc  |  pietermaritzburg

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