Nine victims out of ten departed African National Congress (ANC) volunteers have been given a state funeral in Vosloorus on Saturday. The gloomy atmosphere got intensified with tears from family members of the ANC bus crash victims. In the face of the low-spirited event, South African president, Jacob Zuma saw himself leading the crowd in the song “Sikhalela ilizwe lethu elathathwa ngaba mhlophe….”
Zuma had arrived the event center amid loud cheers and song as he made his way to the marquee to join the service that was already under way. He was also flanked by First Lady, Bongi Ngema Zuma. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was seen in the service too. Thereafter, when it was time for the president to speak, he addressed the crowd and raised the aforementioned song.
Earlier also, ANC Mayor, Mondli Gungubele addressed the numerous mourners and thanked South Africans for ‘accompanying these heroes’. He said;
“To all South Africans in various categories, thank you for these heroes and for accompanying them in such a dignifying manner. To the families, may God give you that strength again and again.”
Free State Premier, Ace Magashula also urged ANC members to remain united and not allow itself to be divided. He added that party members must learn to its leadership.
While the funeral service of the ANC bus crash victims lasted, the melancholic event metamorphosed into one big party event with ANC members breaking into song. ANC Women’s League president Bathabike Dlamini spearheaded the move with members dancing around the 10 coffins lined across the stage. She called on them to give the fallen members a meritorious final dance.
The interim sad-turned-joyous dance finally lasted for over five minutes before everyone retired to his seat. Meanwhile, nine of the victims would be laid to rest in Vosloorus, while one person will be buried in KwaZulu-Natal.
The fallen heroes have been fondly remembered by the ANC. Bidding the victims goodbye, the party these on their Twitter page:
“Thembi was born on the 22nd of September in 1956. She worked with #ANCWL. Lala ngoxolo Sibeko. We love you”#SibekoFamily #Ekurhuleni10
“Mphikeleli Malindi will be greatly missed by the family. He was courageous. He believed in the organisation” #MalindiFamily #Ekurhuleni10
“Gugu Sithole became an ANC volunteer in 2009. My your soul rest in peace. Aluta Continua”#SitholeFamily #Ekurhuleni10
“Sesie Mtshali, sizohlala sikuthanda njalo”#MtshaliFamily #Ekurhuleni10
“Tisetso Ntsilo was a respectful & dedicated child. As a family, we shall forever be grateful to the ANC” #NtsiloFamily #Ekurhuleni10
“Sicelo Kheswa was a member of the ANCYL & COSAS. Silahlekelwe” #KheswaFamily #Ekurhuleni10
The 10 ANC members died in a tragic bus crash last week in Free State while traveling back from Port Elizabeth after attending the launch of the party’s local government election manifesto.