MATRIARCH: Masindi Mufamadi


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THE MOTHER of former safety and security and, later, provincial and local government minister Sydney Mufamadi died of natural causes in her sleep on Tuesday.

Masindi Mufamadi was 80.

Her daughter and family spokeswoman, Vhengani Managa, said she died at her home in Tshisahulu village outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo.

Two of her children, Sydney and Vhengani, trained as teachers, while Vhonani and Thilaiwi Denge studied law. Denge is now a magistrate. Sydney later went on to obtain a master’s degree in sciences in London.

Two weeks before she died, Masindi reminded her two grandchildren, aged 9 and 13, in a telephonic conversation to take their studies seriously. “I think we were very fortunate to have shared this life with her,” said Managa.

She described her mother as humble but strong. “I hardly remember her slapping me as a child. Instead she would sit you down and reprimand you,” she said.

The matriarch’s late husband, Reuben, worked as a driver for the then Rand Daily Mail newspaper, until it closed in 1985, before working for the Sunday Times.

Managa said although her mother had not been a political activist, she became politically enlightened after the family were harassed by the police.

This was after Sydney had fled the village in the 1970s because of his political activity.

Managa herself was arrested at the age of 14 and spent 55 days in detention for her engagement in student politics.

Despite all this, Masindi showed a brave face.

Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale has sent a message of condolence to the Mufamadi family.

Masindi Mufamadi leaves behind her four children and 12 grandchildren.

The funeral service will take place at 7.30am tomorrow at the Tshisahulu sports ground near the local clinic.