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Unsung MK hero's remains exhumed for family burial

By Corrinne Louw | Mar 29, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE remains of one of SA's unsung struggle heroes were exhumed at the weekend in Ntuzuma.

Zinto Cele was 22 years old when he was killed on October 24 1985 by a bomb that exploded prematurely.

The BA student was given a pauper's burial in a Ntuzuma cemetery in a site unknown to his family more than 20 years ago.

His grave was traced recently through excavations and forensic examination by the missing persons task team in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Cele was an Umkhonto we Sizwe member and formed part of Operation Butterfly, a large-scale MK underground operation in KwaZulu-Natal in the mid-1980s led by the present MEC for health in KwaZulu-Natal, Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

The bomb also killed Cele's fellow MK combatant Mandlenkosi Israel Ndimande.

MK operative Sibusiso Mazibuko was seriously injured in the explosion but survived and escaped.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said: "The bomb was placed at Grosvenor Girls High and detonated prematurely."

The school served as a polling station and was the venue at which Pik Botha (the then minister of foreign affairs) had addressed voters the previous day.

Operation Butterfly was responsible for the 1985 bombing campaign in support of the internal resistance campaigns.

Cele's remains will be examined by forensics experts and be given to his family for reburial.

Other MK members associated with Operation Butterfly, many of whom were granted amnesty by the TRC, included KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize and the late colonel Sihle Mbongwa.


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