Johannesburg - The public funeral service of Epainette Mbeki in Dutywa, Eastern Cape was cut short on Saturday because of gale force winds, the SABC reported.
The wind caused havoc to the marquee tent, where many dignitaries attended the service, and had to be evacuated, according to the national broadcaster.
Events company technician Leon Billy said the wind speeds forced them to cut the proceedings short.
“These tents can only withstand 45km and we were already going to 50km,” he was quoted as saying.
“The engineer specs for these tents are 55km but only for three seconds. We also heard that the winds were not going to drop, they were going higher. This is why I made the call for the safety of everybody.”
The rest of the funeral ceremony would be held in private.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a eulogy at Mbeki's funeral.
Mbeki, the mother of former president Thabo Mbeki, died in the Life St Dominic's Hospital in East London, Eastern Cape last week Saturday at the aged of 98. - Sapa