Obituary

No justice for Nyameka Goniwe

Jonathan Ancer pays tribute to Nyameka Goniwe, widowed when her husband Matthew was murdered by security policemen on the orders of the apartheid government, and frustrated by the ANC government for decades as she fought to get the case tried

06 September 2020 - 00:00 By Jonathan Ancer

In July 1985 — after the body of anti-apartheid activist Matthew Goniwe was found — New York Times foreign correspondent Alan Cowell asked his widow, Nyameka Goniwe, if she would be taking her three-year-old son Nyaniso to the funeral. Nyameka wasn’t sure. She told Cowell she had gone to the funeral of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko eight years earlier and when she heard infants wailing she wondered if children should be protected from these tragedies or if they should be exposed to the harshness of this land.

Nyaniso did go — everyone in the Eastern Cape town of Cradock attended the funeral — and now he and his sister Nobuzwe will be burying their mother. Nyameka, who had presented with Covid-like symptoms, died last Saturday after going into isolation. She was 69 years old...

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