Spiritual balm of symbolic burial
POISONED, tortured, shot, burnt and bombed are how Selby Vuyani Mavuso, Sizwe Kondile and Johannes Sweet Sambo met their deaths at the hands of apartheid police.
The remains of the uMkhonto weSizwe cadres could not be recovered for a proper burial.
But yesterday, their families received some sort of closure as they took part in a spiritual repatriation and symbolic burial at Freedom Park in Pretoria.
They joined Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha, as well as current and past National Director of Public Prosecutions respectively, Shaun Abrahams and Vusi Pikoli.
In the early hours of Thursday, the families took part in a spiritual repatriation in Komatipoort in Mpumalanga, prior to a symbolic burial yesterday at Isivivane inside Freedom Park, which can be best described as a spiritual resting place for those who played a part in the liberation of South Africa.
Representatives of different faiths and beliefs, including Christian, Muslim, Rastafari and traditional healers, were there to pray and perform rituals around the nine boulders representing the country’s nine provinces.
“We are alive to the fact that there should have been real burials, but the ruthless and merciless apartheid regime had no respect for human life, especially our freedom fighters,” Masutha said..
“I think it’s a moment of reflection for all of us across political persuasions, religious and cultural persuasions and racial divides in South Africa,” Masutha said of the ceremony. In September, he said they planned to approach Parliament with a concrete proposal to begin to criminalise racism, with jail time as a penalty.
Punkies Mavuso- Masuku, Mavuso’s niece, said the ceremony gave her family much- needed closure.