Hundreds of people joined the family of EFF leader Julius Malema for the funeral service of Koko Sarah Malema at the Ngoako Ramahlodi Sports Complex in Seshego, Limpopo, on Saturday morning.
A number of prominent ANC members, including Rivonia trialist Andre Mlangeni, Zizi Kodwa and the ANC Youth League's Ronald Lamola, put aside their ideological differences with Malema's party to pay their respects to Koko Malema who died on May 4.
In his tribute to his beloved grandmother, Malema said she was his confidante, the person with whom he discussed matters that nobody else were privy to and that she would be taking "those things" to the grave with her.
He commended her for her openness and honesty and for passing that on to him. "I speak truth openly because I learnt this from my grandmother. She lived an honest life."
"My grandmother knew all of us by name and our responsibilities. Not only did she check on us but she checked on our children today," Malema said.
Malema saluted Koko Sarah's strength and commitment to her family, who she raised as a single parent.
"Winnie Mandela, Sarah Malema and all the township women provided for the children without a man. They are proof that a woman doesn’t need a man to be able to provide.
And yet we believe that for a woman to succeed, they need a man. It’s not true.
My grandmother raised 9 kids in a four bedroomed house and added to that were her grandchildren. It’s not unique to the Malema family because this is story for many black families," Malema said.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi led mourners in song before the eulogy was delivered.
Also among the mourners were billionaire Patrice Motsepe, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini; the daughter of Nelson Mandela, Fortune Charumbira, the vice president of the Pan-African Parliament, and iconic gospel artists Rebecca Malope and Lebo Sekgobela.