United in sor­row at Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - LUNGANI ZUNGU

A SOM­BRE mood pre­vailed at Sindiso Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral at the umz­imkhulu sports field yes­ter­day, with the ten­sion un­der­scored by the singing of revo­lu­tion­ary songs.

The fu­neral of the for­mer ANC Youth League sec­re­tary-gen­eral drew spar­ring fac­tions of the ANC KZN na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee. Nei­ther Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma nor EFF leader Julius Malema at­tended.

Speak­ers who ad­dressed mourn­ers de­scribed how Ma­gaqa, 34, de­voted his life to the strug­gle for young peo­ple.

Strug­gle songs such as Oliver Tambo bamba isandla Sami (hold my hand) saw com­rades hold hands and chant de­spite their dif­fer­ences.

Bheki Cele and KZN pro­vin­cial chair­per­son Sihle Zikalala re­cently squared off af­ter Cele ac­cused the NEC of fail­ing to lead the peo­ple.

Zikalala in turn said Cele should lead by ex­am­ple and be the first to re­sign from the NEC. They were sep­a­rated by a few chairs at the fu­neral.

For­mer chair­per­son and premier Senzo Mchunu’s al­lies were also present fol­low­ing a court judg­ment that the Zikalala-led pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship was “un­law­ful and void”.

ANC trea­surer-gen­eral Dr Zweli Mkhize, who led the NEC mem­bers at the fu­neral, said it was a tragedy to lose a “shin­ing star” like Ma­gaqa.

Mkhize urged the ANC, po­lice and govern­ment to launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Ma­gaqa’s mur­der.

Mkhize was slightly dis­rupted when a strong wind blasted through the sports­field, spark­ing fear from some mourn­ers who swiftly dashed out of the mar­quee.

Ma­gaqa, who was elected as ANC PR coun­cil­lor dur­ing last year’s lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions, was shot in July along­side ANC coun­cil­lors in Umz­imkhulu, Jab­ulile Mz­izi and Non­sikelelo Mafa, who sur­vived. He died last week in Chief Al­bert Luthuli Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal, ap­par­ently from the wounds he sus­tained dur­ing the shoot­ing.

Ad­dress­ing the mourn­ers, Zikalala urged mem­bers of the ANC to unite and rid the party of the fac­tions plagu­ing it.

Zikalala also took a swipe at busi­ness­man Jo­hann Ru­pert say­ing he was ar­ro­gant fol­low­ing his ut­ter­ances that the so-called rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion was a ploy to loot the pub­lic purse.

Ma­gaqa’s niece, Yo­lakazi, broke down in tears on stage while de­liv­er­ing her trib­ute to him.

His un­cle, Mapolo Dlamini, pleaded with the po­lice to ar­rest the killers of Ma­gaqa. His friend and ANC mem­ber, Less Stuta said Ma­gaqa was “def­i­nitely” killed be­cause of his stand against cor­rup­tion. This stemmed, he said, from an in­com­plete com­mu­nity hall in umz­imkhulu, which cost mil­lions of rand, which Ma­gaqa was vo­cal about in ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ings in umz­imkhulu mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

De­liv­er­ing a mes­sage on be­half of his wife, Mrs T Ma­gaqa said, “I prayed for you be­fore I met you. My love I saw you fight­ing for your life in hos­pi­tal. Go well my love I will al­ways love you.

Ma­gaqa’s mother, Agnes, said, “I will al­ways re­mem­ber you, you will al­ways be my child and you will al­ways be in my heart. Thank you for all the things you have done for me.” Her mes­sage was read by Tho­bela Dlamini.

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-zuma, a pres­i­den­tial hope­ful, re­ceived thun­der­ous ap­plause when she was in­tro­duced.

At the fu­neral of for­mer ANCYL sec­re­tary-gen­eral Sindiso Ma­gaqa, who was wounded in a drive-by shoot­ing with coun­cil­lors Jabu Mz­izi and Non­sikelelo Mafa in umz­imkhulu. He died from his in­juries.

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