Epainette Mbeki was finally laid to rest on Saturday in her home in Idutywa, Eastern Cape. Speaking at the burial of the near centinarian, the deputy president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, said that the deceased was a heroine.
MaMbeki, as she was popularly known, passed on last week on Saturday at Life St Dominic’s in East London in the Eastern Cape after losing a battle with a chest infection. She had been admitted into the hospital in the same month and had been in and out of hospital during that month.
Ramaphosa said that MaMbeki belonged to the generation of people that new no life other than that of sacrifice and selfless dedication to the struggle. He added that MaMbeki was as good as somebody who had spent her life in the trenches of democracy, freedom and peace without seeking material gain, distinction and self worth. According to the deputy president, the constitution demanded that we, as a nation honour the likes of the late Mrs Mbeki.
Epainette Mbeki, who was married to the late anti-apt the icon, Govan was the mother to former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki. She and Govan had been blessed with four children with only two surviving after one passed on and the other disappeared without trace while in exile in Botswana.
MaMbeki’s funeral had to be cut short as the weather became unbearable and threatened to uproot the marque tent that had been set up for the numerous dignitaries that had graced the occasion.
The national broadcaster SABC, reported that gale force winds were very ferocious and disrupted all proceedings. According to events management company representatives, Leon Billy, their tents were built to withstand winds blowing at speeds of fourty five kilometres per hour. However, the winds on the day of MaMbeki’s funeral had gone as far as fifty kilometres per hour and it was still increasing. He added that it was at this point that he made the call to stop proceedings for the protection of everyone involved. It was further announced that the funeral proceedings would be completed in a private event for the family.