Defence minister described late struggle icon Lieta-Tyobeka as strong and resilient

FUNERAL SERVICE: Family and friends said their last goodbyes to the late Women’s Military Veterans
Association of South Africa general secretary and ex-combatant, Vuyiswa Tyobeka-Lieta, also known as
Thandi Zuma in Komani on Saturday Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

The Women Military Veterans Association of South Africa general secretary, Vuyiswa Tyobeka-Lieta, was laid to rest in Komani on Saturday.

Tyobeka-Lieta had died last Thursday after succumbing to Covid-19 in Johannesburg.

She was a commander of Umkhonto we Sizwe while in exile in Angola and her combatant name was Thandi Zuma.

The defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who had met Tyobeka-Lieta in Angola while in exile attended  her funeral service which was held in Mlungisi.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the ANC had lost a phenomenal woman who was incredibly strong and resilient.

She described Tyobeka- Lieta as someone who was deeply committed to the ideals of the political movement.

”Tyobeka-Lieta was a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, an ex-combatant who was highly disciplined,somebody who always defended the position of the African National Congress but would also criticise it when necessary.

She leaves at a time when the ANC is confronted with a lot of challenges, when the
association, which should have been disbanded by now, is rudderless because of the manner in which people conduct themselves,” the minister said.

According to the defence minister Tyobeka-Lieta was very unhappy with the way some of the cadres of the movement were conducting themselves. She believed she would have made a contribution in finding a resolution to some of the challenges the ruling party was currently facing.

”This is because she was committed and very outspoken. She was transparent and not the kind of a person who would hold back.”

The ANC has lost a wonderful cadre and ex-combatants have lost one of the best women of Umkhonto we Sizwe. I believe we should remember Tyobeka-Lieta for all her good work, commitment and dedication. Let us pick up the spear and move forward.”

Lieta-Tyobeka is survived by her husband, Charles Lieta, whose combat name is commissar Sipho Motswana, her daughter Xoliswa, her grandchild and her brother, Mxolisi.