ANC wants special funeral for building mogul Dr Thandi Ndlovu

BBC president Sandile Zungu during the memorial service of Thandi Cynthia Ndlovu in Kempton Park, yesterday. /ANTONIO MUCHAVE
BBC president Sandile Zungu during the memorial service of Thandi Cynthia Ndlovu in Kempton Park, yesterday. /ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The late Dr Thandi Ndlovu is set to be afforded a special official provincial funeral.

The ANC's deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte revealed this during the late Struggle stalwart's and construction mogul's memorial service held yesterday in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni.

"We did ask that comrade Thandi be specially honoured by the government, and she is being given a special funeral, provincial, and we are very grateful to the government for doing [so] because she deserves it," Duarte said.

However, the Gauteng government said the matter was yet to be finalised.

"The matter is still being discussed, nothing has been finalised. Permission must be sought from the presidency, only then can we confirm and provide details," said premier David Makhura's spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga.

Ndlovu died in hospital on Saturday following a crash that claimed four lives. She was on her way to a funeral in Rustenburg, North West. "Yesterday we were still trying to understand what we have lost, many of us. So it is a moment of celebration but also a moment to reflect," said Duarte.

Duarte said she met Ndlovu when she was secretary of the party's women's section in Lusaka during the apartheid era.

"So, if you were involved in the women's movement internally, [Ndlovu] was your contact in Lusaka . She would instruct where and when [we] would meet and that connection was never known to anybody."

Duarte said Ndlovu was trustworthy.

"She didn't believe in gossiping. She was not adventurous, she was a planning person. She believed in the theory of completeness, that a job is not done until it's done. Even if it is done, it has to be done properly, so that it should never be redone.

". this was an MK [Umkhonto weSizwe] soldier who trained for three years in southern Angola in a camp. . she was sent to further training in Moscow. She was a completely trained ANC cadre by the time she came home in 1990.

". when we lose somebody of this calibre it is very hard. We can only hope that what Thandi has left behind . in the construction industry will grow and other women will reach that particular level."

Black Management Forum president Andile Nomlala hailed Ndlovu as a meticulous entrepreneur who, unlike many politically connected entrepreneurs, didn't depend on black economic empowerment to enrich herself. Ndlovu, instead built her construction company Motheo from scratch through her blood, sweat and tears, he said. "She said there is no substitute for hard work and there is no success through a short cut," said Nomlala.

Business executive Xolani Qubeka said it was difficult to mention Dr T, as she was affectionately known, in the past tense.

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