Phillip was ther­a­peu­tic de­spite pain

Sowetan - - Obituaries - By Per­tu­nia Mafok­wane

Born: May 8 1922 Died: May 9 Fu­neral: To­mor­row in Bos­plaas, Ham­man­skraal, start­ing at 7am Burial: Bos­plaas Ceme­tery

Phillip Ma­belane died with a bro­ken heart.

Ma­belane car­ried the pain of not knowing the truth about the cir­cum­stances that led to the death of his son, Matthew.

Matthew, who was an anti-apartheid ac­tivist, died in 1977 when he fell from the 10th floor of the no­to­ri­ous John Vorster Square po­lice sta­tion in Jo­han­nes­burg.

Po­lice told his fam­ily he com­mit­ted sui­cide, but they never bought the story.

Ma­belane be­lieved that his son was killed by po­lice.

Ma­belane’s son Lasch said it was his fa­ther’s dy­ing wish to hear the truth about Matthew’s death.

“De­spite car­ry­ing the pain for so many years, my fa­ther con­tin­ued to touch peo­ple’s lives in a pos­i­tive way. He was ther­a­peu­tic to a lot of peo­ple,” said Lasch.

Ma­belane was born in 1922 at GaMaepa vil­lage in Mashish­ing, Mpumalanga.

He was the first born of nine chil­dren of the late Mat­sobane and Nkeko Ma­belane. He worked for a few months in the mines in Mpumalanga be­fore join­ing a dry-clean­ing shop.

Ma­belane later re­lo­cated to Sophi­a­town, Jo­han­nes­burg, in 1949 where he met his wife Mesina, who is also de­ceased. They got mar­ried in 1952 and were blessed with six chil­dren.

In 1959, he moved to Mead­ow­lands, Soweto, fol­low­ing the forced re­movals in Sophi­a­town.

He opened his own dryclean­ing shop in Mead­ow­lands in 1966.

Ma­belane left Soweto to set­tle in Ham­man­skraal, north of Pre­to­ria, in 2012.

He died last week af­ter a long ill­ness. He was 96.

Phillip Ma­belane

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