Spir­i­tual balm of sym­bolic burial

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NOMASWAZI NKOZI

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.

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