Nantoni died just less than two months after she celebrated her 79th birthday.
ANC deputy president DD Mabuza has used the funeral of Gogo Nantoni Mthembu to express the urgent need for land return in South Africa.
He said people like Gogo Nantoni suffered all of their lives under white farmers, working the land and earning very little.
“Our suffering and journey as black people is the same,” Mabuza told mourners at the eMalahleni township of Ackerville on Saturday morning.
“And these sufferings were on the shoulders of women and especially those who were farmworkers used to work long hours and earned very little money but as little as it was they managed to fight for their rights and took care of their children,” Mabuza said.
“We thank all women for their sacrifices, their hard labour and for supporting us to grow and be where we are today,” he said.
“And that is the reason in the ANC we are saying land should return to its owners. Our mothers worked the land and earned little money but now we have come to the point where we are saying land should be expropriated,” the deputy president told mourners.
Born on 1 January 1939, Nantoni Mthembu was the mother of ANC Parliamentary chief whip Jackson Mthembu.
She died on 25 February 2018 at the age of 79 and according to her obituary, she worked on the Dewet and Schoongezicth farms outside eMalahleni in order for her and her mom as well as others of her family to have a place to stay.
“Women like Mama Mthembu,” Mabuza said, “toiled but were able to stay strong and gave birth to people like Jackson Mthembu and we thank her for that”.
He said while he was Premier of Mpumalanga he was able to close what used to be called ” farm schools” and built boarding schools.
A commission he appointed to investigate the lives of people living on farms in its report in September 2016 found the violations of human rights in the province’s farms, unequal access to basic services like electricity, water and housing and issues of security, healthcare, justice and illegal evictions.
Almost all political parties in Parliament a week ago supported a motion brought by the EFF to amend the Constitution to favour land expropriation without compensation except the DA, Freedom Front Plus, Cope and the ACDP.
Parliament will wait until 30 August 2018 for the Constitutional Review Committee which will look at the feasibility of expropriating land without compensation.
(edited by MLM)
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