South African freedom fighter to be reburied in SA 31 years later

South African freedom fighter to be reburied in SA 31 years later
Source: News24
Date: 23-09-2019 Time: 03:09:51:am

Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) veteran, Patrick Mvundla's body has been returned to South Africa from Botswana to be reburied 31 years after his brutal murder by the apartheid government.

According to a statement released by the ANC Gauteng province, the ceremony will be held on Saturday at Naledi community hall. He will be buried at Lenasia cemetery.

"The African National Congress Gauteng Province and Mvundla family will on Saturday, 28 September 2019 rebury the mortal remains of Comrade Patrick Mvundla.

"This follows the official handover of his remains to his family by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola on 7 September 2019," the party said.

Mvundla, who was a resident of Soweto in Johannesburg, left South Africa in 1979 to join the ANC in exile where he became a member of the armed wing, changing his name to Naledi Sehume.

He underwent military training and was deployed to Botswana in 1985 where he became a regional commander.

In Botswana he was known as Charles Mokwena.

In March 1988 Special Forces members of the South African Defence Force (SADF) attacked his house in Gaberone.

He was shot dead along with three Bostwana nationals.

"The house and their bodies were then set on fire.  A fellow MK member, Vuyani Hatto, managed to escape," the ANC explained.

"The bodies of Comrade Patrick Mvundla and the three Botswana nationals, namely Martha Bondo Madisa, Masego Ikgopoleng Ketshabile and Thankie Seokamo were buried side by side in Gaborone by the Botswana government on 6 April 1988."

Mvundla's remains were exhumed in July by a government delegation including the Department of Military Veterans, the Department of Justice, the Missing Persons Task Team in the NPA with the help of the South African High Commissioner in Botswana.

"The forensic examination of the exhumed remains established that the cause of death was at least five high velocity gunshot wounds to the pelvis and chest with the body burnt thereafter," the ANC said.