Fac­tional fu­ner­als now a trend

Con­cerns of po­lit­i­cal point-scor­ing as ANC Youth League pre­pares to bury sec­re­tary-gen­eral Sindiso Ma­gaqa

The New Age (Free State) - - POLITICS - TNA RE­PORTER news@the­newage.co.za

IF the re­cent trend of speeches at highly pub­li­cised memo­rial ser­vices be­ing re­duced to col­lec­tions of bit­ter words is any­thing to go by, the jury is still out on whether for­mer ANC Youth League (ANCYL) sec­re­tary-gen­eral Sindiso Ma­gaqa’s burial to­mor­row in KwaZulu-Natal will fol­low suite.

With Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral tak­ing place in Umz­imkhulu, hav­ing al­ready been marred by tit for tat pub­lic spats be­tween his ANC col­leagues and EFF sup­port­ers over his party po­lit­i­cal al­le­giance, fears are mount­ing that Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral will set the stage for po­lit­i­cal ruc­tions to play out.

The ANCYL moved to al­lay fears this week that Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral would re­sem­ble those of the late Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile and ANC stal­wart Ahmed Kath­drada, where deep-seated anger over in­ter­nal party squab­bles ac­cu­mu­lated in the fi­bre of the or­gan­i­sa­tion to find its way out at such events.

With EFF leader Julius Malema hav­ing vowed to at­tend Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral, re­gard­less of whether the ANC liked it or not, ANCYL sec­re­tary-gen­eral Njabulo Nzuza this week said Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral would be in­ci­dent free.

“We would like to reaf­firm that there will not be any fights. We call for max­i­mum dis­ci­pline of all peo­ple who are go­ing to be at­tend­ing the fu­neral of com­rade Sindiso Ma­gaqa,” Nzuza said.

This af­ter the ANC in KZN re­cently said Malema re­sorted to a down­right “lie” when he claimed that the league had in­vited him to at­tend Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral.

“It pains the ANCYL to have to chal­lenge these lies and de­lib­er­ate dis­tor­tions by Malema dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time of griev­ing of our own,” ANCYL pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Than­dox­ulo Sa­belo said.

Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral not only comes against the back­ground of the Mo­er­ane Com­mis­sion of In­quiry prob­ing al­leged po­lit­i­cal killings in the prov­ince but also a re­cent Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court rul­ing which an­nulled the elec­tion re­sults of the party’s 2015 pro­vin­cial congress.

Malema pro­voked the ire of the ANCYL with a fiery and blunt open let­ter on Ma­gaqa’s pass­ing.

In the let­ter, Malema said the ANCYL was us­ing Ma­gaqa’s fu­neral for po­lit­i­cal point scor­ing.

“It is sick­en­ing and shat­ter­ing at the same time for Ma­gaqa’s name to be used to score cheap po­lit­i­cal and fame­seek­ing points. Need­less to say, I do not need any­one’s in­vi­ta­tion to bury Ma­gaqa,” Malema said.

While the fu­neral of spokesper­son to Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, Ron­nie Mamoepa, went in­ci­dent free against the back­ground of height­ened ten­sions within the ANC, Na­tional As­sem­bly speaker Baleka Mbete re­ceived a back­lash in May at a fu­neral ser­vice in Ver­ena of kids who died af­ter the minibus trans­port­ing them was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent on Grob­lers­dal Road, just past Bronkhorstspruit.

Mbete was ac­cused of be­ing in­sen­si­tive by us­ing the oc­ca­sion to con­demn anti-Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma protestors at the height of #Zu­maMustFall demon­stra­tions.

“Even if they toyi-toyi, even if they know how to do demon­stra­tions, we don’t pay at­ten­tion to them be­cause all they say is just noise,” Mbete had said.

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