The African National Congress (ANC), the political home of the late Environmental Affairs Minister, Edna Molewa, has joined a chorus of mourners expressing sadness and condolences at her passing.
The ANC in a statement said Molewa’s death had come as a shock and that the sense of loss was “beyond comprehension”.
“The African National Congress has learned with shock, sadness and sense of enormous loss the passing of Edna Edith Bomo Molewa,” said party spokesperson Pule Mabe.
Molewa served on the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and its National Working Committee (NWC) at the time of her passing.
“Her passing has left the ANC and the country poorer, given her role in advancing the country’s agenda for fundamental social transformation.
“She has been and will always remain a symbol of rare social and political activism, who rose in the ranks of the democratic movement since her involvement in trade unions before joining the North West Provincial Government as MEC in various departments before being a Premier of the North West province,” said Mabe.
Molewa, Mabe said, was in her own right “a stalwart of our liberation struggle”.
“In Cde Edna, we remember the champion for workers’ rights and for equality between women and men. She knew that our freedom would be incomplete without us transforming the unequal power relations that give rise to the economic and sexual exploitation of women, as well as violence against women and children.
“She wanted the ANC to destroy patriarchy and social structures that continue to keep the women of our country and the world in bondage. She fought to empower women so that they could take control of their lives and to own their bodies.”
The party said Molewa had embodied the struggle for national liberation and social emancipation.
“A committed revolutionary till the end, her role was noticeable and she was affirmed as a leader of the ANC NEC, NWC and a Cabinet Minister in various departments.
“Our history as a country will not be complete without acknowledging the pivotal role that individuals like her played in enhancing the impact of the collective effort to make South Africa a better place,” the party said.
The ANC further thanked the Molewa family for availing her to serve the country.
North West Premier Job Mokgoro described Molewa’s passing as a loss to the province.
In 2004, Molewa became the first female Premier of the North West. Prior to that, she was the MEC for Agriculture, Conservation and Environment since 1994.
She ascended to national government as Minister of Social Development between 2009 and 2010, after which she joined the Water and Environmental Affairs portfolio.
“This is truly a shock and definitely a loss to our province and the country. We were still expecting a lot from her as someone who has continued to play a leading role in promoting environmental conservation as key to South Africa’s economic development,” said Mokgoro.
He further expressed condolences to the Minister’s family, friends and colleagues in government.
“We wish for them to find solace in knowing that as a democratic woman leader of note, she has done her part in positioning South Africa on the world map in so far as the agenda on environmental conservation is concerned.
“We must take from her qualities that will take the North West province and South Africa forward. May her soul rest in eternal peace”, Premier Mokgoro said.
Political parties, labour unions and other sectors of government continue to express condolences and sadness at her death. – SAnews.gov.za