The Pan African Congress (PAC) has apologised to the family of Mama Zondeni Sobukwe after her funeral proceedings were disrupted by 'hooligans'.
The wife of late PAC founder Robert Sobukwe was laid to rest in Graaff-Reinet, in the Eastern Cape, on Saturday. However, her funeral was disrupted by elements of the party who objected to the government's involvement.
At one point Deputy President David Mabuza was forced to be whisked away, forcing government to withdraw the 'official funeral' status of the funeral.
Government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said "certain disruptive elements" had forced government's hand to terminate the official funeral status prematurely‚ in consultation with the family.
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"The decision was taken to ensure that certain disruptive elements who were hell-bent on desecrating the dignity of Mam’ Sobukwe did not succeed. As government we are saddened by the behaviour of certain elements who disrespected the decorum of a funeral," Williams said.
In a statement, the PAC condemned the 'despicable' behaviour that turned a moment of quite reflection into "an unseemly squabble at the hands of a group of hooligans bussed in with the express purpose of disrupting the funeral".
“Their behaviour was despicable and violated African norms and traditions. We condemn this outrageous insult to the Mother of Azania by these people who were clearly sent in to cause trouble and sow confusion among PAC members. They have brought shame upon themselves and the nation, and they have sullied the memory of Mama Sobukwe as she was being laid to rest," PAC President Narius Moloto said.
Moloto, who was prevented from entering the church where the funeral was being held, said the group are not members of the party, and that their leaders have been expelled for a variety of offences.