On Saturday 11 July, Mbhabham Mathumbu (1930 – 2020) was buried in Bekela village in Amadiba on the Wild Coast in Eastern Cape. He died on Monday morning in his homestead after a short illness and stay at hospital. He had demanded to be brought back home to see his family and friends. He died after coming home again.
He did not die from the Coronavirus, but from other natural causes.
Mbhabham Mathumbu was laid to rest surrounded by his large family and friends, the indunas of our Head Woman’s Council and his comrades in the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC). They gathered to honour a beloved husband, father, grandfather, grand-grandfather and a defender of our land until his last days. He was fighting his whole life for what he believed in.
Comrade Mathumbu was a veteran from the 1959-61 Pondo Revolt that succeeded in defending our communal land in Pondoland and shook the apartheid government to its bones. He was an induna to the father of the present chief of Amadiba. He was part of the founding of ACC at our Komkhulu in 2007.
In his speech, Mashona Wetu of the Umgungundlovu Council reminded everybody how Mbhabham Mathumbu always defended our Council against all attacks. He explained how important this was for Umgungundovu. Nonhle Mbuthuma from ACC reminded all of how Comrade Mathumbu took part in defending our land against the Australian MRC’s opencast mining project on the coast.
In the short movie published on ACC Facebook, Comrade Mathumbu is participating in the struggle on crutches, moments after stun grenades and blank shots were fired to disperse the community during Mantashe’s “consultation” on 23 September 2018. After this Tata Mathumbu was honoured at Komkhulu for standing at the front to defend our land even when he was soon to be 90 years old.
Long live the spirit of Tata Mbhabham Mathumbu!
May his wise soul rest in peace!
Although it was hard to respect the 50-person rule and turn people away, everything was done to make the funeral as safe as possible. The Corona pandemic is respected on the Amadiba coast. All visitors were wearing masks. Their hands were sanitised by youth volounteers when going in and out from the funeral venue and after the burial ceremony. As ACC, we appeal to all to be vigilant and respect this invisible enemy. We are doing everything in our power to try to keep the virus pandemic away from our area as much as this is possible.
Issued by Amadiba Crisis Committee