PAC members at odds over special provincial funeral for stalwart Kgosana
This is despite the fact that the PAC itself requested President Jacob Zuma declare it a state funeral.
The late PAC stalwart Philip Ata Kgosana is the subject of an ongoing feud among the party’s members.
Some are planning to disrupt his memorial service because they are opposed to his funeral being a state-sponsored one.
This is despite the fact that the PAC itself requested President Jacob Zuma to declare it a state funeral. Zuma declared it a Special Provincial Funeral in line with their request.
On Tuesday, PAC spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe said they learnt that a small group of PAC members were planning to disrupt Wednesday’s memorial service to be held at the St Marks Square in Pretoria.
The group opposed the decision to have it declared a state affair, saying they wanted it to be fully organised by the party.
“They say they don’t want the PAC to be captured, so they plan to disrupt the memorial service. As the PAC, we say these people are out of order. This is not the official position of the party,” Mokgatlhe said.
Mokgatlhe said PAC secretary-general Narius Moloto made it clear that the PAC supported the state-sponsored funeral.
Moloto said they don’t object to it being declared as a Special Provincial funeral because it was the party’s wish that Kgosana should be given that honour.
Kgosana died in a private hospital in Pretoria on April 19, after a short illness.
He rose to fame when he led a massive anti-pass march in the ’60s in Cape Town while he was studying there.
The protest, together with the Sharpeville march, also organised by PAC, culminated in the banning of the organisation along with the ANC.
Its founding leader, Robert Sobukwe, was subsequently jailed on Robben Island and a special legislation, known as the Sobukwe Bill, was enacted declaring him a trouble-maker.
Gauteng premier David Makhura paid tribute to Kgosana and offered condolences to his family.
“Kgosana will be remembered for his humility, dedication to liberation and selfless service to the people,” Makhura said.
The premier’s office said Kgosana’s funeral service would be held at the Tshwane Events Centre (formerly Pretoria Showgrounds) from 8am on Friday.
Kgosana, second child of Reverend Simon and Letta Kgosana, was born in Makapanstad outside Pretoria on October 12, 1936.
He attended Nchaupe II Secondary School and then Lady Selbourne High School in 1954, together with his brother Samuel.
He was influenced politically by the stance of Transvaal African Teacher’s Association leaders such as Eskia Mphahlele and Zeph Mothopeng, who years later became PAC president.
He attended the first PAC national conference in Orlando, Soweto, in December 1959, while a student at the University of Cape Town. The activist was elected as PAC secretary of the Cape Province in 1960.
Inspired by Robert Sobukwe, Kgosana joined the Anti-Pass Campaign of 1960 that culminated in the Sharpeville Massacre of March 21, 1960.