Special Provincial Official Funeral for Dr Ngema

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has expressed her gratitude to President Cyril Ramaphosa for granting the legendary and internationally acclaimed playwright, composer, director and theatre producer, Dr Mbongeni Ngema, a Special Provincial Official Funeral Category 2. In a statement on Monday, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government said the Special Provincial Official Funeral Category 2, which includes elements of police ceremonial honours, is reserved for distinguished persons specifically designated by the President of South Africa on request by the Premier of a province. Dube-Ncube said Ngema distinguished himself as a true South African legend, who used creative art and theatre to contribute to the fight for freedom the country is enjoying today. 'We made the request to the President to declare Dr Ngema's send-off a Special Provincial Official Funeral primarily to recognise his contribution to our long and painful journey to freedom.' The Premier said while Ngema has passed away, this noble g esture by the President will give the family and many South Africans some comfort that he received a send-off befitting his stature. 'We welcome the respect bestowed upon Dr Ngema by the President. This is indeed a befitting honour to Madlokovu, who worked tirelessly for many decades to put South Africa on the global pedestal through art. 'Armed only with his creativity and theatre, he confronted the brutal apartheid regime, in the process conscientising the world about the ruthless and dehumanising nature of apartheid. Madlokovu used his vast networks abroad to focus the attention of the world to the suffering of our people in this country under apartheid. He pencilled an indelible mark on our journey towards freedom,' said the Premier. Ngema was killed in a car crash on Wednesday, 27 December on his way to KwaZulu-Natal after attending a funeral in the Eastern Cape. 'Madlokovu was a passionate and true ambassador of the theatre and music art form. He worked hard to unearth, develop and nurture talent fr om our townships and rural areas. Many practitioners today owe their success to Madlokovu. 'As we mourn his passing and send our condolences to his family, we expressed our gratitude that he lived during our lifetime,' said Dube-Ncube. The provincial government, together with the family, will in due course communicate further details with regards to the funeral service. In his tribute to Ngema last month, President Ramaphosa said his 'masterfully creative narration of our liberation struggle honoured the humanity of oppressed South Africans and exposed the inhumanity of an oppressive regime'. 'The many productions he created or to which he contributed inspired resilience and pride among us as fellow South Africans, and took South Africa and our continent into the theatres, homes and consciousness of millions of people around the world. May his soul rest in peace,' said President Ramaphosa at the time. - SAnews.gov.za Source: South African Government News Agency