EFF's Dali Mpofu barred from speaking at Lundi's funeral
The funeral of gospel icon Lundi Tyamara was pregnant with drama after EFF chairman Dali Mpofu was prohibited from speaking at the service and Tyamara's sister Babalwa allegedly embroiled in a cat fight with a mysterious woman in the artist's life over his bank card.
Picture credit: MARK ANDREWS © DAILY DISPATCH
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi confirmed Mpofu was barred from speaking at the funeral. Babalwa and the mysterious woman, Thobeka Sokwakwa, declined to comment.
Speaking to Sunday World, Ndlozi said the EFF was asked by the artist's family to send a representative to speak at his funeral in Worcester, Western Cape, last Sunday.
He said Mpofu flew from Joburg to attend the funeral service but was prohibited from paying homage to the fallen star by the family and the organising committee.
"We were shocked to learn he was not allowed to speak at the funeral by people who wanted to politicise his funeral. These people phoned us on Saturday and asked us to come and speak at the funeral, so we sent the national chairman there and they ill-treated him.
" We all know how Lundi was ill-treated by the ruling party and government by associating himself with us. We wanted to deliver our words of condolences, not because he was an EFF supporter but because he was a national asset," Ndlozi said.
Tyamara's brother Siya confirmed Mpofu was prevented from paying his respects.
"He was not stopped by the family but by the organising committee because he was not invited," he said.
Asked who the committee members were, Siya declined to reveal their identities.
Siya also declined to comment on the catfight between Thobeka and Babalwa. "Speak to Babalwa," he said.
Babalwa declined to comment. "Go back to the people who gave you the information for details of what happened."
Thobeka said: "My brother, before you proceed I have nothing to say about that."
Two independent sources said Babalwa asked Thobeka to hand over Tyamara's bank card as there were people who wanted to wire money into the account. Our deep throat said Thobeka refused and said the gospel star died owing her a lot of money.
An argument erupted. As Thobeka and Babalwa exchanged verbal epithets, the latter's relative allegedly slapped her twice.
Tyamara's manager Anele Hlazo said he did not know about the fight between the two but confirmed Mpofu was muzzled from speaking at the funeral. Hlazo apologised to Mpofu for being ill-treated.
"EFF was the only organisation that booked Lundi when he was under my wing. Even when Lundi was in hospital, EFF leader Julius Malema was the only one who offered to take him to a private hospital.
"Even when we were shooting his video, Malema took to social media and asked the public to support us. I was shocked when Mpofu was prevented from speaking where as an ANC councillor, DA MEC and a national minister were allowed to speak. I fought for Mpofu to speak but I was defeated by other committee members. I feel like I failed the EFF and I sincerely apologise."
Mpofu couldn't be reached for comment at the time of going to press.