The atmosphere was entirely gloomy and doleful at the memorial service for former Eastern Cape premier, the Rev Makhenkesi Stofile, which drew hundreds of ANC members and well-wishers.
The event did actually sail well but speakers at the occasion seized the opportunity to lambaste leaders of the ruling party for breeding divisions and rancour in the party.
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas was the first to eat up the ANC alive, asserting that it’s apparent that South Africa is at a crossroad on many fronts under the headship of president Zuma, while many of the gains they have fought for over many decades are at risk.
Jonas, who spoke on behalf of Stofile’s family, said the deceased – a struggle icon and ANC veteran – died an unhappy man because he was so disappointed by ongoing fighting in the ANC.
“He [died] at the wrong time in the sense of where we are as a revolutionary movement. He confided in many of us [recently] his frustration that our revolution has lost its way.
More than ever we need him, that exceptional and selfless leader, to rescue our glorious movement from where it has gone astray.
There can be no denying that our country is at a crossroads on many fronts, while many of the gains we have fought for over many decades are at risk.”
Another ANC stalwart Charles Nqakula recalled that Rev Makhenkesi Stofile told him before his demise, that many people who know where the ANC comes from are dying one by one because of the pain caused by troubles befalling the organisation.
Stofile, South African former sports minister and ambassador, died of diabetes and pancreatic cancer at his Alice home on August 15. The official memorial service was attended by politicians, academics, religious leaders and family members.