Lerato Sengadi. Photo: Supplied (office of the North West premier)

The dispute over late rapper Jabulani ‘HHP’ Tsambo’s burial was fought until the bitter end. Although the South Gauteng High Court called on Friday for the spirit of ubuntu to prevail, the rapper’s widow, Lerato Sengadi, cut a forlorn figure at the funeral held in Mahikeng Convention Centre yesterday. 

Sengadi, legally recognised as HHP’s spouse after an 11th hour court bid to stop the planned funeral, sat with her side of the family with some seats in between them and the Tsambos. 

The bitter dispute was over where the rapper’s final resting place would be. Sengadi argued that her husband’s wish had been to be buried at West Park Cemetery in Joburg. However, the judge ruled that the provincial official funeral go ahead as planned in Mahikeng. He implored Sengadi to attend the funeral in the spirit of ubuntu. 

“I want to make a request that this concept of ubuntu must be given traction in this case - that fairness and equity and the balance of convenience dictates that there are other interests which are appreciated in this application. 

“The deceased was not just an ordinary person, he was a national figure and he deserves a decent funeral which has been arranged by the father, who I believe did that out of his good heart,” said Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng. 

Speaking after the court proceedings, Sengadi said she was happy with the judgment and would continue to honour her husband’s wishes. But tensions seemed to have not simmered down as she was not recognised as one of the people HHP is survived by, nor was she given a chance to pay tribute to him.

“He (HHP) is survived by his parents, two sisters Ayanda and Zanele Tsambo, his son Leano Laone Sekete Khanye and nephew Oamogetswe Bogolo Tsambo,” read the obituary.

Meanwhile, a tribute read at the service said HHP’s mother found solace in the memories she shared with her son. “Jabu, there was an incredible feeling of joy when I saw you take your first breath and a terrible feeling of emptiness when I had learned that you had taken your last breath. 

But between those two breaths, there are 38 good years which I am truly and forever thankful to God for.
“The Lord has called you to be at peace and to experience the rest that the physical, cruel life did not offer. We will cry, and tears will dry, but the memory of you will remain forever in our hearts. Good night, my son. From Mama.” 

In the end, only close family and friends, including rapper Khuli Chana, Sliqour, Shuga Smax and Thapelo Mokoena made their way to the Matlalong grave site.


The Sunday Independent