About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Quest for cadres' re-burial in SA

Daily Dispatch Online, Monday, April 14, 2003

ALICE -- The remains of many uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) cadres who died in exile still cannot be brought back home to South Africa to be reburied close to their families because their graves are unidentifiable.

ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Thenjiwe Mtintso, a former MK commander, said there were countless graves of MK cadres all over the world that were unidentifiable because they were unmarked or not properly recorded.

She was responding to complaints by family members that their pleas to the ANC to have the remains of their relatives brought home and re-buried in ancestral land fell on deaf ears.

Speaking on behalf of the families, Solomon Mali said it had been years now that he had been asking the ANC to have the remains of his son, Mgcini Mali, who died in the Congo, brought home.

"We want the remains of our relatives to be brought home so that they can rest in peace in their ancestral land. We'll never be happy until we see where our children's remains were buried," Mali said.

Mtintso said: "The ANC, in fact the whole liberation movement, understands and sympathises with the people's needs to at least have the remains of their relatives brought to South Africa, but there are challenges." She said these were the logistical problem of identifying the graves, and also finance. The ANC had assisted other families who could afford it to bring back the remains of their relatives whose graves were clearly marked.

Most of the marked graves were in Lesotho and Mozambique.

Mtintso said some families did not understand why the ANC could assist some but not others.

"We can assist the families to bring back home the remains of their loved ones only if the particular grave is identifiable and the family can afford the cost incurred."

However, Mtintso said the matter was not closed yet. As far as the ANC was concerned, it was not able at present to bring back the remains of deceased soldiers, but it was something that was still being debated. -- DDR

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.