‘You promised you’d never leave me’: Khusela Diko bids farewell to her husband

Nkosi Thandisizwe Diko II's funeral was held at the Elundzini Great Place in KwaBhaca.
Nkosi Thandisizwe Diko II's funeral was held at the Elundzini Great Place in KwaBhaca.

In a letter read by Rethabile Matolweni, Khusela Diko’s friend, she lamented that her husband had left her after promising to never leave her side.

Nkosi Madzikane Thandisizwe Diko II was laid to rest on Tuesday. He died in an East London hospital last Sunday after complaining of stomach pain.

“Sthandwa senhliziyo yami [love of my heart]. This letter to you is the most difficult I have had to write in my entire life. The cloud that came with the news of your passing hangs heavily and is dark. I sit here not knowing what to say to you because never in my wildest dream did I ever expect this moment to come, especially not this soon.

“Baby, you promised you’d never leave me, you made this commitment to me over and over again. But here I am, writing this tribute to you and you will not hear it. My heart breaks, has been breaking into a million pieces, every single day since I was first told of your passing,” Diko said in the letter.

She wrote about how he had always put her first.

“I had been speaking to you less than an hour before, I tried to call you and you did not pick up. It was very strange. Over the last seven years, I had become spoiled because never did a call of mine go unanswered, and in the rare event it did, you would surely call back in no time, lovingly and apologetically explaining to me why you had missed my call.

“I learnt this one was one of your love languages, making me feel secure in our love. You regarded me, us, as your priority. But that Sunday, I waited baby, and you didn’t call back. Soon I would hear what had happened and time stood still and had been standing still. Again, I sit here not knowing what to say to you,” she said.

“This is a strange world for me, a cruel world that doesn’t have you in it. A confusing world where I wake up in the morning and wait for a good morning greeting that never comes.

“During some of our darkest hours of our life, you would remind me time and time again that in order to get through something, you need to go through it. It is now my turn to be stronger than the pain.

“You were my best friend, the safest place, biggest cheerleader, and my honest critic. In my heart you will never die. Rest easy, my love,” Diko said.

The 43-year-old businessman was thrust into the headlines last year after details of a multimillion-rand personal protective equipment (PPE) tender allegedly issued to his company came to light. Diko died denying any wrongdoing.

His wife was placed on special leave from her job in the presidency in relation to the PPE scandal. Their family friend, former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku, lost his job over his alleged involvement in the allocation of the controversial tender.

Matolweni said she did not know how to comfort her friend.

“It feels like déjà vu because not so long ago I was standing on this ground speaking of their love. I almost know what to say in most instances, but today for the first time I don’t know what to say to my friend because I know the journey of their love.

“I’m taken aback. A year or two ago, when Kumkani gave us a health scare behind this tent, and Khusela said to me: ‘Chomi [friend] what is going on?’, I told her that whatever that is going on, your baby is going nowhere. He’s going to be fine. We drove to the hospital and he was stabilised, and I said: ‘I told you’, but what do I say to her today?” Matolweni said.