Pretoria - “Mommy, I love you. Our bond is one that will withstand the depths of time.” Those words were written by Warona Zinde, Hope Zinde’s son, and read out during her funeral at the Hellenic Community Hall in Pretoria.
“Your place in my heart is one that will never cease to exist. All that I am and aspire to be, I owe it all to you. Your gift will be remembered forever. May your soul rest in peace.”
Warona’s cousin, Onalerona Zinde, read out the touching words on his behalf to mourners gathered to pay their last respects to the former SABC board member.
Hope’s mother, Audrey, is said to have tried her best to get her grandson to attend the funeral and pay his final respects to his mother.
Warona is undergoing a 30-day psychiatric evaluation at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital as ordered by the Brits Magistrate’s Court where he is facing charges of murder and possession of illegal substances.
Police said that at the time of his arrest in connection with his mother’s murder, Warona was found in possession of R350 worth of crystal meth, known as tik. His mother’s body was found in the boot of her car at Pecanwood Estate in Hartbeespoort.
It was against this background that numerous speakers decried the effect of drugs on communities.
Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, speaking on behalf of Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, asked: “How do we allow those who peddle intoxicants to do so under our noses?”
Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, former mayor of the capital and family friend, said it was not good enough to say police would take care of it or the judicial system would take its course.
“Are the community, schools, parents, universities and business people doing their part? Drugs affect us all,” he said.
He called Zinde a woman of integrity who had a lot in her head, heart and soul.
Tim Modise, a former colleague and friend of more than 25 years, said he could almost feel the grief for the family when he heard about the manner in which Hope met her death and how the person alleged to have killed her was the very last person one would suspect. “I think most people know that there would be no conversation with Hope without her putting in her son,” Modise said.
He commented on how Zinde’s mother must have been in shock, pain, grief and anger on finding out about Hope’s death, but those feelings turned to forgiveness, understanding and love for her grandson.
“The problem of addiction is not a one-person problem, it’s a national problem.”
Kaizer Kganyago, SABC spokesman, said from Sunday - World Anti-Drug Day - the public broadcaster would begin broadcasting anti-drug campaign messages.
The “people’s poet” Mzwakhe Mbuli also took to the podium to recite a poem denouncing drug lords.
“Drug lords are dream killers. Drug lords are the devil’s ambassadors on earth, drug lords are joy killers. Drug lords are the destroyers of the nation,” he said.
Zinde’s childhood friend, Gladys Petje, said they met in high school during a debating competition.
“Little did we know that from such humble beginnings our careers in communications were birthed.”
She recalled a time at university during apartheid when the music library was not open to black people, but Zinde was able to convince the director to let them in - which bore testimony to her tenacious nature.
Zinde’s niece Tshiamo Ramano, recited a poem but also had a few words for her cousin Warona.
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Warona the boy that we have loved, still love and will always love. We need to practise the ethics of forgiveness…” she said.
The 50-year-old Mamelodi-born Zinde was buried at Garsfontein cemetery in Pretoria. She was an executive at Prasa and served as an executive committee chapter member at the University of Limpopo.