Thu Oct 27 13:05:03 SAST 2016

Zuma pilgrimage to honour comrade, help the needy

By unknown | Jan 08, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma, keeping a promise he made 20 years ago, recently made his yearly pilgrimage to the Mabhida family in Smero, in Pietermaritzburg,

When Moses Mabhida died in his arms in Mozambique 20 years ago, Zuma promised his comrade that he would look after his widow and family.

Since his return from exile Zuma has kept that promise.

Referring to Mabhida's death at his funeral, Zuma said: "I have been through many things. I have been in danger, but I have never had such a painful experience."

Handing over a cheque for R3000 to 83-year-old widow Linah Mabhida, Zuma said this was a special visit because Mabhida's remains had been brought back from Mozambique a month ago.

"I will cherish this moment for a long time, especially because this is my first visit after his remains have been laid to rest at his home. It has always been my wish to have him brought home and I am pleased," Zuma said.

Before his visit to the Mabhida family, Zuma criticised media reports that it was his supporters who had staged a walkout when president Thabo Mbeki began his speech at Mabhida's funeral last month.

When Mbeki started his speech hundreds of people left the stadium and some started singing Zuma's signing-off song, Awuleth'umshini wam. Zuma begged them in vain to sit down and show respect for the president.

Zuma said last week that the members of the walkout were not his supporters, but ANC supporters and ordinary people who attended the funeral.

"When they were seated, no one called them my supporters, but the moment they disrupted the president, they became my supporters," he said.

During his visit, not only did Zuma bring a smile to Mabhida's widow, he also, together with the MEC of health Neliswa Nkonyeni, provided three wheelchairs and nutritional packs for the nearby destitute Mkhize family.

Zuma had previously met the family and promised to help them. British, 63, and his wife Florence, 59, are both disabled. British had both his arms and a leg amputated due to gangrene.

Nkonyeni asked members of the public to help in identifying the destitute and the disabled within their communities so that they could access government help.


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