The EFF has expressed its sadness and disappointment over the ANC attempting to turn a memorial service for murdered 11-year-old Relebogile Segami into a ’political rally’.
THE EFF in the Northern Cape has expressed its sadness and disappointment over the ANC attempting to turn a memorial service for Relebogile Segami, 11, into a “political rally”.
A poster of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC banners and regalia as well as a table cloth were used to decorate the venue while an EFF flag was draped over the podium.
Community members felt that it was inappropriate to “politicise” the event and pointed out that the party flags and posters were much larger than the picture of Relebogile.
Relebogile was raped and murdered and her body dumped in the veld behind the Northern Cape provincial legislature on March 31.
Itumeleng Machabe, 24, was arrested in connection with the murder and is expected to reappear in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court on April 13 for consideration of bail.
EFF provincial secretary Shadrack Thlaole said that they had arranged the memorial service at the Helen Joseph centre this week.
“We are embarrassed over what happened. We should not be fighting for space while the family was mourning the death of their loved one. We were there to offer our support to the family as they are EFF members. What the ANC did was disrespectful towards the deceased,” said Thlaole.
“When ANC Member of Parliament Mxolisi Sokatsha was buried over the weekend, we did not try to score political points or grandstand at his funeral.”
Thlaole added that the party did have an issue if ANC members wished to attend the memorial service or pay their last respects.
“We did not mind if they wore ANC T-shirts and we welcome anyone, regardless of their political affiliations, who wish to support the family and fight against gender-based violence. However, we did not give permission for them to put up ANC posters and banners.
“Out of respect, I make a conscious decision not to wear EFF attire if I attend the funeral of my ANC friends. I am not a hooligan. There was a previous occasion where ANC members howled at me while I was giving a eulogy at another funeral service. It appears as if the ANC is trying to recruit members from the graveyard. Shame, what do you expect if you are led by criminals? You cannot expect them to be holy.”
Thlaole added that the EFF did not make an unnecessary scene at the memorial service. “We are a peaceful organisation and wanted to give the bereaved family the space to grieve.”
ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) regional task team co-ordinator Nonyameka Shushu indicated that the bereaved family gave them permission to attend the memorial service.
“They did not want too many services to be held and invited us to join the service along with community members, the school and the EFF,” said Shushu.
“Relebogile is a child of the community and we wanted to offer our support and pledge solidarity as mothers and members of the organisation. She died a gruesome death and the entire city is angry.”
Shushu added that the ANCWL would attend the funeral on Friday and would be present in court until the trial was finalised.