Missing MK soldiers laid to rest

The soldiers' bodies were found 24-years after they went missing.

Four Umkhonto we Sizwe soldiers who went missing 24-years ago were reburied on Sunday 14 July, 2013 in a ceremony at the Naledi Community Hall in Soweto.Picture:EWN/Lesego Ngobeni

JOHANNESBURG - Four Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) soldiers who were killed by apartheid security forces 24-years ago were reburied on Sunday.

The soldiers' bodies were only found recently in Limpopo.

The bodies were exhumed for forensic tests and the soldier's identities were confirmed.

The remains were then handed to their families for reburial during a moving day-long ceremony in Naledi, Soweto.

Mk was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC).

Former President Nelson Mandela led MK in exile and was instrumental in leading the armed struggle against apartheid that saw the strategic attack of whites only areas.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau says the contribution of MK soldiers who died whilst fighting for the liberation of the country from the apartheid government is admirable.

"Sometimes when we reflect on how far we've come, we can just reflect on the fact that we can now wear an ANC t-shirt without going to jail."

Meanwhile, during the ceremony, social activist and renowned poet Mzwakhe Mbuli paid tribute to ailing former President Nelson Mandela, hailing him as a human treasure.

Mbuli recited a special poem he had written in Mandela's honour.

Mbuli also took a swipe at outspoken AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, calling him a Xhosa King without manners.

Mbuli told provincial and regional ANC leaders that they should speak to him to tone down his comments against President Jacob Zuma.

MADIBA'S EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP

Last month, members of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) visited the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria where Madiba is being treated for a recurring lung infection.

MKMVA chairman Kebby Maphatsoe said Madiba's leadership in exile was exemplary.

"We remember him as a sterling commander, selfless and very disciplined."

He also said people should never forget the role Madiba played in the armed struggle against apartheid.

"We must never tell lies about the history and role that Nelson Mandela played."

Maphatsoe said MK soldiers still need their former commander and hoped he will not be in hospital for much longer.