The Presidency, in consultation with the Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, has decided to give the late Albertina Sisulu an official special funeral, Minister Collins Chabane has announced. “We arrived here to pay our respects to the family on behalf of Cabinet, and through the discussions we have had with the family, a decision was taken to give mama a special funeral,” Chabane said in his briefing to reporters outside the Sisulu home in Johannesburg. He could not provide further details, adding that all logistics would be taken care of as the week progressed.
Sisulu died at her Johannesburg home on the night of Thursday 2 June 2011. She was 92. One of her sons, Mlungisi Sisulu, confirmed that MaSisulu, as she was affectionately known, “was not in any pain” before she died. “Mama was in a good mood in the afternoon. She was actually watching the news when she just tilted her head and she passed away very quickly,” he said. The family was “blessed” that MaSisulu lived up to her age. “Given her age, we think we are very blessed that she lived that long. She actually wanted to follow the old man [Walter] but she stayed with us for the past seven years.”
Sisulu joined the ANC Women’s League in the 1940s and became a member of the executive of the Federation of South African Women in 1954. On August 9, 1956, she, Helen Joseph and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn organized a march of 20 000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the apartheid government’s requirement that women carry passbooks as part of the pass laws.
A BuaNews report by Chris Bathembu edited by the skills-universe