NEWS

Ramaphosa Gets A Cold Reminder of Marikana At Prudence Mabele's Funeral

A group of mourners halted Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi's speech and stormed out before the deputy president could speak.

19/07/2017 13:48 SAST | Updated 19/07/2017 13:49 SAST
Gallo Images
Prudence Mabele.

A group of mourners at the funeral of HIV and women's rights activist Prudence Mabele interrupted Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi's speech and stormed out ahead of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's keynote address.

The small group left the Rhema Bible Church auditorium chanting "remember Marikana" when Ramaphosa was called to the stage and continued singing outside the venue in Randburg on Wednesday.

Motsoaledi was speaking about government's National Health Insurance scheme when someone in the crowd shouted "less talk, more action". A group of mourners then stood up and started chanting, forcing Motsoaledi to leave the stage.

Ramaphosa continued with his speech while the group left the venue.The presidential hopeful spoke of Mabele's visions for South Africa.

"[Mabele] never stood back from speaking truth to power. She spoke of a vision of a South Africa of her dreams. It was a South Africa that had a health care system that met the needs of all South Africans, especially the poor," Ramaphosa said.

"But she also spoke of a South Africa that had a leadership core that had integrity, that did everything to advance the interests of the citizens of this country and not only just a few. [Mabele] envisioned a South Africa that was free of corruption, where the resources of our nation are used prudently and efficiently to advance the lives of the poor."

Mabele was the president for the Society for Women and Aids in Africa. She broke ground in 1992 when she became the first black woman to publicly reveal her HIV-positive status in South Africa.

Speaking at Rhodes University earlier this year, Ramaphosa told students that he had intervened in the Lonmin mine strike in Marikana to prevent further deaths.

On the eve of the Marikana shooting, Ramaphosa allegedly said in an email discussion between Lonmin management and government officials that events around the strike "are plainly dastardly criminal acts and must be characterised as such".

Read: Ramaphosa Apologises For Role In Marikana Massacre