Johannesburg - While the Sobukwe family says all political parties and politicians are welcome to attend the funeral of Dinilesiwe Sobukwe, the son of anti-apartheid stalwart, Robert Sobukwe, the family says it would prefer to be in charge of everything to avoid the political chaos that marred the funeral of Zondeni Sobukwe, the widow of Robert Sobukwe, in August last year.
Speaking to Independent Media about the funeral plans for Dinilesizwe, 65, who died on Wednesday, his son Tsepo, 38, said they have learnt lessons from the chaos that erupted at Zondeni’s funeral and they would not like to see a repeat of it. He said while the Sobukwe family and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) are inextricably linked, his father was not a member of the party.
“The funeral of our grandmother last year was hijacked and it became a platform for political opportunists and we would not like to see something like that happening again. That is why as a family we are considering handling everything ourselves even though political parties and politicians are welcome to attend,” the son said.
As a result of the chaos that erupted when two factions of the PAC fought to control the funeral, the state representative, Deputy President, David Mabuza, was whisked by his security personnel due to safety concerns. That meant the funeral lost its status as state sanctioned.
Tsepo said history was repeating itself because during the funeral of his grandfather, Robert, in March 1978, there was chaos when the crowed howled and threw stones at the leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.