By THEMBEKA DLAMINI | 2018-10-14
The contributions made by the recently deceased former Prime Minister, Sibusiso Dlamini, have not gone unnoticed.
His Majesty King Mswati III, who was represented by Prince Fipha, commended the role played by Dlamini in sustaining the successes achieved by the kingdom.
Dlamini served the country through three full terms as well as one in part.
He was first appointed into parliament in the late 70s. In the early 80s he became senator and was later appointed minister of finance. Thereafter, he served many roles within government and internationally culminating to his first appointment in 1996.
Two years later after the national elections, Dlamini was reappointed into the position which he held until 2003. He served in one of the advisory councils from 2003-2008 and returned to lead the ninth parliament after he was reappointed in the position he had come to embody.
In 2013, Dlamini was reappointed for a second consecutive term and served until dissolution of parliament in June 30. Thereafter, he served as part of Sigejane until September 4 when he chaired the last cabinet meeting.
He died 24 days later on September 28, a few hours after he was admitted at Mkhaya Clinic in Manzini.
Labelling him a hero, His Majesty stated that the country’s authorities were grateful to the Dlamini family for the role they played in raising him to become the man that he was.
“Thank you for the great job of taking care of the hero of this country. You bore him, took him to school and taught his about a lot of values needed,” said the King.
He stated that the values are some which sustained him and enabled him to love his family the way he did. He further thanked Reverend Mahlalela for the verses he talked about calling for those left behind to take care of his family.
“Even though he gave a lot of verses, I don’t think he (the Reverend) exhausted the importance of ensuring that his widow and his children are not harassed.”
He commended the former premier’s work ethic. “(Prince Makhosini) was known as the longest serving PM, however, Dlamini surpassed his record.”
His Majesty said the PM’s extended service came about due to his ethic of honouring his elders which was ingrained in him at a young age, teaching him to honour the country so that his days could be extended.
Former cabinet ministers snub ex-PM’s funeral
Of the 19 cabinet ministers that former PM Sibusiso Dlamini led during the 10th parliament, only one attended his funeral outside of the two who were engaged during preparations.
Owen Nxumalo struck a lone figure with other mourners during the memorial service as he stood by watching his principal’s casket lowered.
Nxumalo spoke at the former premier’s last wedding in Matsapha on November 4 last year where he was termed as a representative of his friends.
Of note, there were two former ministers from other terms such as Reverend Muntu Absalom Dlamini, current Ndzingeni MP Lutfo Dlamini, whereas Clement Dlamini, Winnie Magagula and Phineas Magagula were part of the organising committee.
The glaring absence was noted by several members of the public who stated that it was a pity that ambition by some kept them away as they hoped for royal recognition as senators are about to be appointed.
Of the 69 currently elected and appointed MPs, outside of former Minister Lutfo, Mabhanisi Dlamini as well as Mabulala Maseko were present as they paid their last respects. Election contender within the Ndzingeni Inkhundla, Mbongeni ‘Stjifiri’ Gule was also among other locals.
There were several Chief Executive Officers, business people as well as senior government officials and ordinary people from all walks of life.
Rain pours as ex-PM’s body leaves church
The slow marching procession seemed to bid the drizzle to fall harder.
Five minutes before the end of the church service, the master of ceremonies noted how the rains had let up which was an opportune time as it would allow burial to proceed without mourners getting drenched.
With the mourners assured that the rains had lifted, they were shocked to find that they had restarted.
As soon as National Commissioner Isaac Magagula’s representative Deputy National Commissioner Vusi Manoma Masango leading the procession made his way out of the door, drizzle resumed, getting stronger as the gazetted officers made the laborious march around the church.
Even though the distance from the church entrance to the burial grounds is less than 100 metres, the officers seemed to time their procession and all other parts of the ceremony in order for them to lower him into his grave at exactly 1pm.
At 12:35, his casket was picked up by senior officers who walked him out of the church and reached the graveyard 10 minutes later.
At 12:54 a gun salute of three shots was fired.
At 12:59, a brass band rendition of the song Holy Holy Holy accompanied the lowering of the casket.
Born into Nazarene Church, buried within its mission
His beloved Nazarene Church is his final resting ground.
Situated only 50 metres away from the left side front of the church, the Dlamini family grave site welcomed its latest member.
Buried next to his beloved wife Jane Gezephi Matsebula, they were reunited after six years of being apart. The former PM joined other family members such as his mother and father within the well-kept graveside.
As soon as the clock struck 1pm, his casket was placed on his grave, ready to be lowered. Police officers stood on the ready as they paid their respects to their former minister of police.
Primrose’s-heart wrenching sobs
This past week marked exactly a year since former Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini announced that he was getting married again.
It has been a tumultuous 12 months for the former PM’s bride who married him while he was already sick.
This year, instead of joy, his wife’s muffled sobs made for a heart piercing interjection as she was handed his medals and flag which previously draped his casket while seated by the grave side. The medals were placed in a box having been retrieved from his casket while in the church.
The flag was removed from the casket as it was placed above the grave, folded neatly and handed to the family by National Commissioner Isaac Magagula’s representative, Deputy National Commissioner Vusi Masango. The police executive gave the items to His Majesty King Mswati III’s representative Prince Fipha who handed them over to the family. All the while, muted sobs could be heard as she tried and failed to hold back her emotions. While throwing flowers into his grave, she seemed to collapse and was held back as she knelt for the last time for the man who she married last year.
Treat ex-PM’s widow, children with dignity
The nation, leadership and extended family of ex-Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini have been advised to treat his immediate family with dignity.
Reverend Simeon Mahlalela read about 10 verses, all concerned with how widows and orphans should not be marginalised after the death of their patriarch.
Speaking to the 1 000 strong mourners who converged at the Ndzingeni Nazarene Church, Mahlalela called for the protection of the former PM’s wife and children by all concerned.
Starting off his highly charged sermon, Mahlalela called upon the mourners to embrace the teachings of the Bible which they needed to keep imbedded in their minds as these would guide them on their day to day engagements.
He said it was disheartening to note there were people who waited on the side lines in order to hoard widows and orphans’ belongings leaving them bereft. He called newly elected parliamentarians and those who advise Their Majesties to be at the forefront of stopping the scourge of theft done on those who lose their parents to death. “We are sick and tired of watching orphans losing their fields and homes to unscrupulous thieves who take advantage of their loss,” he said, further calling on those who sell belongings of orphans to be wary that God’s eyes were watching them as He does not desert the righteous.
Directing his message to the former premier’s four children, he said they would be well taken care of as they would be protected by God. He called on the former PM’s widow to assist take care of his children as would a mother hen. Cautioning those who stand on the side lines with the hope of gaining from estates of bereaved people, he said they would be cursed as they too would be buried, killed by their own greed.
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