ANC seeks probe into claims that gunshots were fired at Kebby Maphatsoe's funeral

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Family and friend attend the funeral service of Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe at Maranata Church in Protea Glen on September 05, 2021 in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Fani Mahuntsi)
Family and friend attend the funeral service of Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe at Maranata Church in Protea Glen on September 05, 2021 in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Fani Mahuntsi)
  • ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has called on law enforcement officials to probe allegations that mourners fired live ammunition during the funeral of former MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe. 
  • Duarte was addressing the media at Luthuli House.
  • She also condemned the heckling of ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe when he addressed mourners.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has called on police to investigate allegations that gunshots were fired in the air at the funeral of former president of the now disbanded Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) Kebby Maphatsoe on Sunday.

She also strongly condemned the heckling of ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe during his address at the funeral service in Protea Glen, Soweto. 

Speaking to the media at Luthuli House, Duarte said:

On the issue of people firing firearms in the air at funerals... to fire a firearm in a built-up area anywhere is a criminal action and our understating is that the authorities are taking action and really, we do hope that they take firm and decisive action because it's wrong.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo was not available to confirm whether an investigation was under way.

Duarte added: "It is not a mark of respect to shoot a gun into the air when you don't know where that bullet is going to end up, and while the act is synonymous with many township funerals, this doesn't make it right. It is still an illegal act and should be shunned upon by ANC members since there are so many people who have been killed by stray bullets."

READ | 'It's false information' - Kebby Maphatsoe's brother denies rumours death was related to Covid-19 jab

Turning to the heckling of Mantashe at the funeral, Duarte said such behaviour was akin to that of "people who are at odds with themselves at the moment".

SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 05: Family and fr
Gwede Mantashe at the funeral of Kebby Maphatsoe in Soweto.
Fani Mahuntsi/Gallo Images

She said the heckling was emblematic of the deep divisions between the MKMVA and MK council and had nothing to do with the ANC or its national chairperson. 

READ | Kebby Maphatsoe funeral: Elderly woman hit by stray bullet mourners allegedly fired

"That is problematic behaviour and we are trying our best within the ANC and within Umkhonto we Sizwe to unite the MKMVA veterans and we are moving quite well towards a unity conference sometime in December. 

"It is unfortunate that Comrade Kebby passed away when he did because he was one of the leading figures in bringing about that unity. He was part of the preparation committee and did very well. He brought people to the table and raised issues very honestly and was castigated because of that," Duarte said.

She added that anyone who was part of making a change and bringing unity was vilified by the counter-revolutionaries, hence the heckling.


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