Source: African National Congress
Title: ANC: Masela: Family tribute to ZN Nawa delivered to ANC Caucus
FAMILY TRIBUTE TO Z.N. NAWA
Delivered to ANC Caucus, Parliament, Cape Town, 14 Nov 2007, by Emmarentia Masela (neé Nawa)
I am here today at this august house to personally bear testimony to the revolutionary life and spiritual passing away of our mother and comrade Zipporah Noisey Nawa. It is now history that she died on 05 November 2007 and was laid to rest on 11 November 2007 at Hammanskraal cemeteries. A lot of anecdotes were articulated in various formats during the memorial service, the actual funeral proceedings and other behind the scene chats. I am here, as her only daughter, to give a perspective that perhaps only a child can give about a mother, still at a level relevant to you as her colleague and comrade.
As you know, there are certain private things that are only shared within family. The funeral also gave us an opportunity to peep into another world that she resided within with her comrades in all sorts of structures including SADTU, ANC and parliament. We were humbled by the generosity of those of her comrades who disclosed those aspects of her life. Some of the things moved us to tears for they confirmed the larger-than-life spirit that we knew her about. A lesson learnt here is that it is probably inconceivable that a child would know much about a parent as a parent would know about the child.
Her deployment to parliament in August 2006 came at a time when she was at a cross-road of her life in two respects. Firstly, she had just buried her mother about a year earlier. Secondly, she was getting into retirement from the teaching profession she served with diligence for the rest of her life. The announcement of her deployment was met with great disapproval by her former ANC branch leadership which had managed to bring to its knees a branch which was once an icon of Tshwane, the first to launch a Women and Youth League structures in that region.
With the help of the regional leadership, the said characters with publicly known questionable and scary credentials including criminal records such as rape, armed robbery and murder were allowed to, amongst others, completely overhaul the character of the branch through the purchasing of membership for people not even interested in joining the organisation and also in the process literally chased away the founding members of the branch and its authentic leadership. To that end, the branch still remains alive only in name as members abandoned it in great numbers. Since then genuine branch programmes were subsequently replaced by clandestine activities such as smear campaigns and even, in one instance, using the name of deceased's eldest son, Lance Nawa, without his approval, in an election campaign pamphlet to the effect that he was in support of - as an ANC candidate - one of the questionable characters above who was incidentally competing for the chair the former held as a councilor since 2000.
No effort was spared to bring this to the attention of the organisation's leadership, but to no avail. Some of the attempts included letters and e-mails to the Secretary General's Office, deputation to certain NEC members to forward the matter to the Secretary General's Office, and personally handing some of the text mentioned above by hand to the Secretary-General's Office.
Despite all these, our mother tried to mobilise the community back to the ANC after her deployment - again much against the support of the new branch leadership. Their callous if not diabolical attitude was displayed by their conspicuous absence at the funeral. Now that she is no more, the challenge remains squarely in the hands of ANC national leadership to ensure that when we speak of Mvuselelo Campaign, we speak of branches such as these and those other ones from which other deployees in government may find themselves in similar situation. We owe it to our deployees to operate in a environment wherein they are not under constant seize to a point where their health is even put under strain, which is what we suspect could have also being one aspect of mother's condition. The reality is that a member of the ANC is only as good as alive. The departed do not build branches and create leadership. Stanley Mojapelo ANC branch has lot such a builder and mentor.
It is against this background that mother decided to relocate to Lebotloane to find a new political home where she could discharge her constituency work without harassment. At a spiritual level, she then took another journey to Moria, Limpopo, to find her last celestial home within the embrace of God through the Zion Christian Christian (ZCC). From whence she was only to come back to us as a lifeless corpse while her spirit remained around and perhaps yonder those mountains at which feet she had pitched herself a tent in which she was taken care of in the church's traditional manner.
That said, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the parliament for giving our mother a dignified and memorable funeral. In particular we would like to salute the heartening manner in which parliamentary personnel such as Khotso Khumalo and Phillemon "Chester" Mpane for carrying the job of organizing the funeral in a manner such that the family at times momentarily forgot that it had lost a beloved member and instead celebrated her life... We would also like to mould into a statue of a revolutionary, kind words uttered about our mother by various parliamentary speakers such as Dr. Secular, Chief Whip Isaac Mogase, Correctional Service Portfolio Chairperson Dennis Bloem and Deputy Speaker Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde...
Re a leboga!