Official funeral for Chabaku

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pretoria - Following a request by the Gauteng Provincial Government, President Jacob Zuma has declared that a special provincial official funeral will be held for former Free State Speaker Motlalepula Chabaku, the Presidency said.

"The special provincial official funeral is reserved for distinguished persons as decided by the President of the Republic. Reverend Chabaku has distinguished herself as a leader in society. She was one of the leaders of the historic 20 000 women's march against apartheid era laws on the 9th of August 1956. This day has come to be celebrated by all South Africans as National Women's Day," said a statement from the Presidency.

The President has further authorised that the National Flag fly at half-mast in the Gauteng province on the day of the funeral.

Regarded as the last surviving leader of the 1956 women's march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Chabaku died in her sleep last Friday at her house in Rockville, Soweto.

She was the first Speaker of the Free State Legislature after the attainment of democracy. She moved on to represent the province on the National Council of Provinces in Parliament and later became a member of the Gauteng provincial legislature.

She retired in 2009, having been the only South African to have served in two legislatures in different provinces.