Minister Nomvula Mokonyane sheds tears on live radio

HURTING: Nomvula Mokonyane choked as she spoke on radio about the heartache of losing her son PHOTO: SUPPLIED
HURTING: Nomvula Mokonyane choked as she spoke on radio about the heartache of losing her son PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane stunned listeners of Power FM yesterday with an emotional meltdown.

The ANC leader was in studio as a presenter of the Power Breakfast as part of the special Women's Month broadcast.

A caller had asked Mokonyane about the death of her son Retlabusa, just before minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula called in to praise her. In answering the question, Mokonyane broke down relating how her husband had asked them to "shred this thing", referring to investigations into Retlabusa's death, which was believed to be suicide.

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"I don't wish this to anybody, even my worst enemy. And women like Nosiviwe have gone through the same passage. Society expects us to rise even from your mourning bed. People expect you to do the impossible. I had to come and address the people of Gauteng in mourning, all because of our issues in ANC in Gauteng because ..."

Mokonyane went off air as the producers cut to a promo.

Power FM chairman Given Mkhari said Mokonyane's incident was what the show was about.

"It's a great case study of the vision of the campaign which is to humanise people and demonstrate the human being behind the title."

Station manager Mpumelelo Mkhabela said it was therapeutic for Mokonyane. "The objective of the campaign is for the personalities to be who they are. She shared her journey and the difficulties they went through raising their family.

"We've invited these protagonists to come as themselves, unmitigated and that gives great radio."

Other high-profile personalities who had their turns as hosts included businesswomen Khanyi Dhlomo, Philisiwe Mthethwa, Thandi Ndlovu and Tryphosa Ramano; television celebrities Felicia Mabuza-Suttle, Minnie Dlamini and Nomzamo Mbatha; political figures Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Angie Motshekga and Qedani Mahlangu, as well as public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Mokonyane was in a cabinet meeting yesterday and her spokesman Mlimandlela Ndamase said she would not be commenting further. Additional reporting by Patience Bambalele

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