nhlanhla laid to rest
Lying in his coffin, ANC veteran and former intelligence minister Joe Nhlanhla must have occasionally smiled wryly as family and comrades paid homage to him for his contribution to the creation of a democratic South Africa.
For the glowing tributes were marked by the contrast of his sad and lonely days battling the effects of a stroke in his Kempton Park home in Ekurhuleni.
Isolated and spurned by comrades with whom he had spent many years in exile, Nhlanhla cut not only a lonely figure months before his death, but was also heartbroken that the movement had turned its back on him.
A stroke in 2000 had left the ANC veteran paralysed and his speech impaired.
Later, confined to a wheelchair, he would complain about being neglected by his comrades.
His family complained a year go that he had been turned away twice from the ANC headquarters at Albert Luthuli. .
A nurse hired by some ANC veterans to look after Nhlanhla left when funds to pay him dried up.
Nhlanhla died of diabetes in a hospital a fortnight ago - a year after his son Leonard died.