Speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete has been highly criticised on social media after hijacking the Verena funeral to defend the African National Congress (ANC) on Saturday.
In her speech, in isiZulu, Mbete told the mourners that the ruling party would not disappoint Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela. The fallen veterans must look down on the ruling party from heaven and be proud that they are doing exactly what they were taught, that when they should keep moving.
“Even if they toyi toyi, even if they know how to do demonstrations, we don’t pay attention to them because all they say is just noise,” she said.
She further commented on those who have been publicly criticising the ruling party, saying they must be taught that if members don’t agree on matters, they should not go outside and tell everyone who’s listening.
“What we do when we don’t get along is to get inside the house, go and fetch the uncles and aunts and sort things out.
Watch the video below from eNCA:
— eNCA (@eNCA) May 6, 2017
“We will not disappoint Oliver Tambo, we will not disappoint Madiba. They must look down and say we are doing what they taught us that when we’re here, we keep moving, no turning back.
“Even if they toyi toyi, even if they know how to do demonstrations, we dont pay attention to them because all they say is just noise. Let’s use this opportunity to teach youth who come after us that even if we don’t agree on issues, we don’t go outside and tell the neighbours.
“What we do when we don’t get along is to get inside the house, go and fetch the uncles and aunts and sort things out.”
Mbete’s speech left many “disgusted”, questioning how she could hijack a funeral of kids who died after being “failed” by the ANC that “could not provide the education” it promised.
“What a shame. …to use children’s funeral for politics! No integrity. …No shame….No respect,” said one.
Twenty people died after the minibus transporting them was involved in an accident on Groblersdal Road, just past Bronkhorstspruit last month.
16 of the pupils were laid to rest on Saturday at Verena, in a heartbreaking funeral that saw some family members and learners collapsing.
The remaining two will be buried next week.