Eastern Cape Arts and Culture to spend R900 000 to repatriate heroes remains

MAY 30, 2015

The Eastern Cape Department of Arts and Culture will be spending around R900 000 in the repatriation of the remains of fallen struggle heroes, who are buried across South Africa and abroad, to the province.

"This financial year we will be exhuming and repatriating more than 80 as well as (the) spiritual repatriation of Dawie Stuurman, who was killed in Australia in 1860. It’s a long time ago but as African, as South Africans, as the continent, we believe in closing the chapter even if you do it spiritually or bring back the remains," Eastern Cape Arts and Culture MEC, Pemmy Majodina, said.

She was speaking at the hand over of the remains of  Thamsanqa Poto to his family at New Brighton, Port Elizabeth.

Poto, a former MK member, was killed in an ambush by the then-apartheid secuity forces near Alldays in Limpopo. He was buried alongside Lawrence Lesimola, Sizakele Buzo, Patrick Zigoxo, Marvin Kgasupane and Meschake Komsasa at Tshikota cemetery in that province in 1988.

They were later exhumed following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. However, due to an incorrect identification the remains had not been given to their rightful families.

The Poto family says they will finally have a closure.

"It's a sad day but we are relived because the remains of my brother, Thamsanqa Poto, after many years has been found. He's been gone for so many years since 1985," Jeffrey Poto said.