The children of the deceased, captured at their mother’s gravesite shortly after the funeral. They are Moses Madamalala, Khathutshelo Madamalala, Simon Madamalala, Mercy Madamalala, Joyce Vhulahani, Tito Madamalala and Ntuweleni Madamalala.

Hundreds of people gathered to pay their last tribute to a well-known local community builder, Mrs Suke Elizabeth Ndhlovu Madamalala (89). Madamalala who contributed towards fighting for freedom and the recognition of black owned churches in Musina was buried during a moving, emotional but celebratory funeral service at Musina Nancefied.

Tito Madamalala is the eldest son of the deceased and a highly respected member of the South African National Defence Force based at 15 SAI Battalion (Maunavhathu). He said during the funeral service: “As an elder of the Bethlehem African Apostolic Church in Sabbath, which was founded by our late father, Pastor Simson Ndhlovu Madamalala, our mother taught us to love God, live clean and always strive to live in peace and unity. Her life was well lived and we have no doubt that she is rejoicing with the angels in her next life the Kingdom of God. Although we are saddened by her death, we thank God for giving us a wonderful gift in our mother.” Said Tito, who took over the leadership of the church after his father’s death in 2008.

Tito thanked various churches, community structures, individual community members, family members, Musina Municipality and the SANDF for their support during the passing of his mother. “We really value your support because your presence is a comfort to us. We can proudly boast that we have people who love us because this is the time that we desperately need your support.”

Another son of the deceased and former Chief Whip of Musina Municipality, Simon Madamalala sang praises for his mother during the funeral. “What more else can we complain about when we had a caring mother who had always been there for us through thick and thin? Part of our mourning is to celebrate her life because she was a beacon of hope to the family, the church and the entire community of Musina. She has ran her race and finished it with diligence and admiration. We were so lucky to have a motherly figure of her calibre and we will continue to lead exemplary life as she taught us during her lifetime. Rest in peace mommy, we love you”

Cllr Siyaphi Shirilele, who represented Musina Municipality said: “Mrs Madamalala’s contribution to the development of Musina will remain to be seen forever. She has been a very faithful member of the ANC Women’s League and her fight against our oppression has paid off. We are enjoying our freedom today because of people like her and her late husband, Simson Madamalala. We will continue to follow her in her foot steps to ensure that our objective of bringing a better life for all is realised.”

Suke was laid to rest at Nancefield cemetery in a reserved space in the same gravesite of her husband who was buried in 2008. The sounds of homemade drums, Zionists songs and dances were the order of the day as her casket was lowered to her final resting place.