ANC fury at Mashabane funeral fracas

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Following ugly scenes at the funeral of Limpopo politician Norman Mashabane in Phalaborwa at the weekend, the ANC yesterday released a strongly worded statement condemning the behaviour.

At the funeral service at the Phalaborwa Stadium on Saturday a group of ANC Youth League (ANCYL) members became unruly and booed Premier Sello Moloto when he was about to address the mourners, resulting in ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma calling them to order.

Later on, when it was time for ANCYL president Fikile Mbalula to speak, another group of mainly members of the South African Students' Congress (Sasco), also continued singing despite numerous calls for them to refrain from doing so.

This resulted in a skirmish between the Sasco group and marshals, including police who went to calm the situation.

Three weeks ago, the Limpopo ANCYL called on Moloto to resign as premier and provincial chairman of the ANC, saying he was unsuitable to hold public office.

In retaliation, Sasco released a statement, declaring its unwavering support for Moloto and confidence in his leadership.

"The ANC condemns acts of misconduct at the funeral of Norman Mashabane," read a statement from Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

It said such behaviour did not have any place at any ANC gathering, "much less the funeral of a fallen cadre of our movement".

"It is disrespectful and shameful. We deplore the behaviour of these unruly elements," the statement read.

"This kind of conduct demonstrates a profound lack of respect not only for the departed, but also for the bereaved family and all the mourners who had gone to pay their last respects."