Pretoria - Gauteng is in mourning following the passing of struggle veteran and former Member of Parliament, Ruth Mompati, says Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
“Mme Ruth dedicated her entire life to the struggle and was a champion for the poor.
“We are saddened by her untimely death, however we are grateful for the contribution she made to help bring about transformation and democracy in South Africa,” said Premier Makhura in a statement extending condolences to her family.
Mompati, 89, died in the early hours of Tuesday after an illness.
Born in Vryburg, North West, Mompati worked as a teacher until 1952 when she got married.
Her employment was automatically terminated due to apartheid laws which regulated that black female teachers were not supposed to get married.
She was then introduced to the ANC when she worked as a shorthand typist for Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo in their law practice in Johannesburg.
She went on to be elected to the National Executive Committee of the Women`s League.
Mompati was involved in the Defiance Campaign in 1952, and was a founding member of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) in 1954.
She was later one of the leaders of the Women’s March on 9 August 1956.
In 1990, she was chosen to be part of the ANC delegation that negotiated the peaceful transition with the government at Groote Schuur.
After democracy she was then elected to the National Assembly and served as a Member of Parliament from 1994 until 1996 before she was seconded to become an Ambassador to Switzerland until 2000.
When her reign as an ambassador ended she returned to the country and became the mayor of Vryburg in the North-West.
Premier Makhura said Gauteng and the entire nation was in mourning.
“We are indeed poorer without Mme Ruth,” said Premier Makhura. – SAnews.gov.za