Address by Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Occasion of the Funeral Service of the late Anele Mgcongca

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10 Dec 2020

Fellow South Africans and the sporting fraternity across the globe, I extend my warmest greetings to all of you. This is not a joyful moment.

It is not a joyful occasion because the icy hand of death has once again visited our beloved Anele Ngcongco. A gentle giant of sport. A person who has been described by his peers as full of love, warmth and life.

To you bo Madiba,



Ngqo Msila,



The tears you shed and the sense of helplessness you feel, are a direct result of the void his untimely passing has left in our lives.

I am still reeling with shock and sadness by the tragic transition of your son Anele. It has been brought to my attention on how close Anele was to the entire family including his child, nephews and nieces, the role he played in maintaining wonderful family bonds must forever be cherished and be applauded. I can only imagine what the family is currently going through, I am certain that the grief that uMama is going through it is indeed, overwhelming.

I must indicate through Anele football reputation that his passing is not only going to create a permanent vacuum to the family but it is also going to be felt by both his football family and the entire sporting fraternity.

Anele remained a disciplined athlete and an ambassador for our country on and off the field.

Looking through the dedication messages since his untimely passing, I have noted how respectfully the messages have been crafted especially from his former European team (GENK FC). Anele reputation supersedes what we only have known him to be in our country (i.e.) playing for the National Team (Bafana Bafana) and as one of the country players who were ploughing their trade overseas.

At Genk FC, he is indeed hailed as a Champion and disciplined defender and dedicated sportsman.

His former coach at (Mamelodi Sundowns FC) who is currently with Al Ahly FC, Pitso ‘Jingles’ Mosimane speaks fondly of Anele and make reference to him as a disciplined Right back that he has ever worked with in his South Africa coaching career and went on to dedicate his resent achievement, the Champions League victory with Al Ahly FC, to the memory of Anele Ngcongca. 

This demonstrates the reputation of Anele and his disciplined on and off the field. Anele as a South African athlete, played a tremendous role in carrying our country flag high especially in Europe where he ploughed most of his trade and also whilst representing the National Team.

He was always available and never turned his back against his country when called upon to execute his national duties.

As an active and creative nation, we would forever remain indebted to the family and most important the mother of Anele for bringing to earth this wonderful soul and for ensuring that he remains focused to his career until his last day on earth. Anele’s void will forever be felt by all of us.

As the English poet, John Dunne, wrote in memory of a beloved lady that died, we also assert that:

“Death be not proud,

  thy hand gave not this blow…

  The executioner of wrath thou art,

  But to destroy the just is not thy part…

  But by all souls not by corruption choked

  Let in high raised notes that power be invoked,

  Calm the rough seas, by which she sails to rest

  From sorrows here, to a kingdom ever blest.

  And teach this hymn of her with joy, and sing,

 The grave no conquest gets;

 Death hath no sting!

Repose peacefully, he may be gone, but he will forever rein in our thoughts.

Once more, my heartfelt condolence pours out to family, kids and friends.

I wish the family peace, and will always be here to support you during this difficult time.

We salute you Madiba, Dlomo for the work you have done for us as your country and the football fraternity globally in enhancing the power of sport to bring people together.

We salute you Zondwa for the legacy you left behind for generations to come.

Thank you for your attention.