Ricochet News

MEC Tunyiswa returns home with remains of late Umkhonto weSizwe combatants

Mar 28, 2019
MEC Tunyiswa returns home with remains of late Umkhonto weSizwe combatants

East London - The Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) says MEC Bulelwa Tunyiswa and her delegation are expected to return home with the remains of late Umkhonto weSizwe combatants, Mzuvukile Gladwin Bata and Patrick Temba Magxala, on Saturday.   

"A welcoming ceremony will be held at the East London Airport Cargo," said DSRAC spokesperson, Kolekile Ndudula.

"The delegation led by MEC Tunyiswa left on 24 March 2019 to exhume and repatriate the remains of Umkhonto weSizwe combatant Bata - combat names 'Thami Khoza, Pedro' and conduct a spiritual repatriation of combatant Mangxala."

Ndudula said that Bata was born in Tyutyu Village, outside Bhisho, and left South Africa to advance the liberation struggle in 1976.

"He was later stationed at ANC and MK Camp in Morogoro (Dakawa Development Centre) where he succumbed to malaria in March 1991. He was subsequently buried there and the plan is to rebury his remains at his home town in Tyutyu Village during Freedom Month in April."  

Ndudula said Magxala was born in East London on 03 Sept 1966.

"He did his primary school and high school in Wongalethu where he became politically-aware and active. In 1984, whilst still in second year at Wongalethu, he left the country and joined the ANC and Umkhonto weSizwe in exile in Tanzania.

"He furthered his education in Tanzania where he excelled in engineering, while at the same time undergoing military training at the ANC camp at the Dakawa Development Centre in Morogoro," Ndudula said.

"He was also attacked and succumbed to malaria in 1990. His remains were cremated and ashes buried at the ANC liberation heroes burial site in Dakawa."

Spiritual repatriation explained

Ndudula said that his grandmother attended the burial ceremony, as his mother Ms Nomfundo Magxala, herself an Umkhonto  weSizwe political activist, who had undergone military training in the Soviet Union, was still operating underground inside country and could not go.

"The spiritual repatriation process is giving Ms Nomfundo Magxala an opportunity to see the grave of her son, conduct traditional rituals and finally find closure," he described.

"The repatriation programme is informed by the Eastern Cape Provincial Policy on Exhumation, Repatriation and Reburial of Remains of Victims of Conflict (2013) which is informed by the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that advocated symbolic reparation to ensure families of victims begin healing and finally find closure through programmes of this nature and magnitude."

Ndudula said that the exhumation and repatriation of the remains is thus another attempt to promote reconciliation, unity, justice, nation building and social cohesion.

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.