Former anti-apartheid activist and Robben Island prisoner, Bishop Waters Toboti, been laid to rest at his home village of Mgobhozi in Centane, Eastern Cape.
The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) member died at the age of 81 due to natural causes.
President Cyril Ramaphosa offered a special provincial official funeral to recognize Toboti’s contribution to the liberation struggle.
Bishop Toboti has been described as anti-apartheid activist that understood the Pan Africanism agenda. He advocated for the emancipation of the oppressed indigenous owners of the land. He fought strongly against political restrictions in this country.
PAC leader Mzwanele Nyhontso says he was a disciplined cadre of the movement.
“I always call him a disciplined and personified. A dedicated man and devoted Pan Africanist, this is a great loss to us as the PAC, great loss to the family – indeed a great loss to the nation,” says Nyhontso.
His family says Toboti was a father that spent his life in the struggle to liberate the oppressed Africans. Timathi Toboti – his son – says they will solely miss him as a freedom fighter.
“He was a humble man, travelled the world trying to liberate South Africans. He spent years in Zimbabwe and Tanzania. He loved people, he made sure that everything he did was for the people,” says Timathi.
The Eastern Cape provincial government has described him as a true leader and urged young people to emulate his values and principles. Speaking on behalf of the provincial government, Fundile Gade urged young people to follow in his footsteps.
“Our message is very clear that let’s take from where they left, they are a generation of a special kind, a generation that has been able to nuture this country to where it is now. Our duty is to ensure that we preserve the legacy that they have left behind and ensure that we represent our people in the best possible means and ways, deal with any possible tendencies that can take the country outside of the trajectory that it has to deal with,” says Gade.
Speaker after speaker raised concern about the political prisoners that are still languishing in jail. They want the president of the country to pardon all political leaders.
In the video below, Bishop Waters Toboti laid to rest: