The families of deceased ANC icons Collins Chabane and Peter “Dambuza” Malada have rejected the proposed visit to their grave sites in Limpopo by the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Party, saying the visit would violate the ideals and principles that both men had lived by.
Messages circulating on social media have suggested that former president Jacob Zuma, as part of campaigning for the party, would visit the grave sites in Limpopo from Friday.
Chabane was Minister in the Presidency under Zuma when he died in a car accident in 2015. His family and his foundation said any visit to his grave site by a party in opposition to the ANC would be a violation of the principles Chabane stood for.
Professor Muxe Nkondo, chairperson of the Collins Chabane Foundation, said: “We are here to protect his legacy and promote the ideas in his work during his lifetime. He was a distinguished member of the ANC and lived all his life consistent with the principles and norms of the party.
“We are really disheartened that somebody wants to undermine his work with the ANC and what is associated with Collins Chabane ... That is an act of very bad faith and we reject that. Please don’t violate the integrity of the ANC and rope in Collins Chabane,” Nkondo said.
Nkondo said if Zuma wanted to pay tribute to Chabane in his personal capacity the foundation would have no issue with that.
Percy Chabane, the younger brother of the late former minister, said the family endorsed the foundation statement and would not have agreed for his name to be posthumously used to “destroy the ANC”.
MK Party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndlela said it was unfortunate that the programme that had been circulated did not come from the party’s communications unit. He said the programme of activities for the Limpopo visit was still being discussed.
He said Zuma had a close relationship with Chabane, who played a key role in advising the former president during his tenure.
“Zuma’s intent was to visit the family and pay his respects,” Ndlela said.
Malada’s family and the Peter “Dambuza” Malada Foundation called on the MK Party and Zuma to refrain from political opportunism.
“Whilst we acknowledge the challenges that our country is facing, we wish to emphasise that Peter Dambuza was a committed member of the ANC and its military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and its ideals. The Dambuza foundation and the Malada family remain loyal to the African National Congress.”