Shots near funeral of Struggle, SANDF stalwart anger minister
These were the words of Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula after gunshots were fired outside the NY 49 stadium in Gugulethu during the funeral of former Major-General Mxolisi Petane on Saturday. Petane was laid to rest at Maitland Cemetery with full military honours.
When the shots were fired Mapisa-Nqakula was at the podium addressing mourners.
After a brief pause, Mapisa-Nqakula told the mourners the gunshots meant Petane’s legacy was being undermined.
“About hundred metres away from here there is shooting by criminals. As we are sitting here we have heard gunshots from this direction, you can rest assured it is from Philippi or Nyanga.
"There is no respect I think in such instances really there is a way we can reinforce,” said an angry Mapisa-Nqakula.
“It is time for us to review the policy. We can’t be held ransom by criminals,” she added.
“Today we have a SANDF which stands for peace and has a duty to protect, but what can we do to provide support the police will need, we need to review our policies,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
“We have seen so many people dying and that is not the freedom we fought for, and that is not the South Africa we wanted where criminals are wreaking havoc, where criminals are killing their own mothers, where criminals are raping their own grandmothers.
“When we heard such (gun) shots we should worry about who is next. What is it we need to do to educate our young people about the kind of South Africa we wanted,” she said.
The destruction of public property was also criticised, with SANDF chief General Solly Shoke telling the mourners how painful it was to witness students “burning institutions of learning”.
“I think it’s about time South Africans stand up and defend the gains of our revolution,” he said.
Petane, 59, who was also a former Robben Island prisoner, died from natural causes at 1 Military Hospital in Thaba-Tshwane in Pretoria two weeks ago and was a former Umkhonto we Sizwe member.
He was born in Retreat in 1958 and his family was relocated to Gugulethu due to the forced removals policy of apartheid.
Nqakula said Petane was “a true son of the soil, a principled patriot, a dedicated professional, a freedom fighter, an unsung hero, a quiet, humble, dignified and compassionate comrade and friend”.