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Thabo Mbeki shares touching tribute to Lindiwe Mabuza, says she was concerned about lawlessness and lack of respect in SA

Funeral of late former ambassador underway in Soweto. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Funeral of late former ambassador underway in Soweto. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 11, 2021


Johannesburg - Former President Thabo Mbeki has told mourners at the funeral of former ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza that many people were concerned about lawlessness and a lack of respect in the country.

Mbeki was addressing mourners at the special provincial funeral for ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza in Soweto on Saturday.

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Mbeki said many were concerned about the degree of lawlessness and lack of respect in our country.

“Now there are accusing fingers who are pointing at Mabuza’s organisation for all of these ills, they are pointing at the ANC. Mabuza was desperately unhappy to see her organisation presiding over that kind of reality, and indeed felt that accusing finger was pointing at all of us, including herself,” Mbeki said.

He further said: “I think fortunately the ANC had understood the challenges it faced in this regard. As you know at the last conference in 2017 it took an important decision for its renewal, and I am really hoping that the leadership of the ANC will act on that renewal.”

He said the ANC must recognise that it carries in its ranks people who can be titled ANC members wearing T-shirts who toyi-toyi very well and sing freedom songs very well, but who are not ANC.

“The ANC needs to liberate itself from that kind of person. In the process of renewal the ANC must say better fewer, but better.

“I am quiet certain that had Mabuza lived, she would be among that fewer who would remain, but better, because of who she was and what she represented, a loyal cadre servant of the people. She demonstrated and proved herself in many ways as a diplomat of the movement and a diplomat of the republic,” Mbeki said.

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The late ambassador and feminist, aged 83, died following a long battle with cancer at her home surrounded by family on Monday.

She will be laid to rest at Avalon cemetery in Soweto.

Recently Mabuza served on the foreign policy review panel chaired by Aziz Pahad.

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Paying her tribute, ambassador Barbara Masekela said people must stop saying Mabuza joined the ANC in 1975. She said Mabuza was radicalised before she joined the ANC.

“Mabuza devoted all her strength to making freedom possible for all. Mabuza was loyal to the ANC, I know that my sister will rest In peace,” Masekela said.

International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor said Mabuza was an accomplished author.

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“South Africa has lost an illustrious freedom fighter, cultural activist and diplomat,” Pandor said.

The Tambo Foundation expressed sadness in the passing of Mabuza.

“Mabuza was self-effacing, guileless and human,” the foundation said.

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