Manto 'liberated SA from apartheid'

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pretoria - Acting Mayor of Tshwane, Dikeledi Lehobye, has called on South Africans to recognise and honour the contribution made by Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang to liberate the country from the clutches of apartheid.

Lehobye visited the Msimang residence in Pretoria on Thursday to pay her respects to the family. The former Health Minister passed away on Wednesday following a liver ailment.

Lehobye said like many others, Tshabalala-Msimang sacrificed her career and went on to join the ANC in exile so that she could make a contribution.

"She could have chosen to focus on her career and remain indifferent to the plight of her people; she chose the path of struggle and for that, we call on all the people to recognise her contribution and honour her," Lehobye said.

Recalling the role Tshabalala-Msimang played during her term as Deputy Minister of Justice, Lehobye said she ensured that the plight of women was brought to the fore and mainstreamed in our justice system.

"As women of this country we owe her our gratitude," she said.

During her term as Health Minister, Tshabalala-Msimang ensured that the health budget for the country was, alongside that of education, the highest. This led to major improvements in the provision of health to the people.

Lehobye said the city had made a commitment to make whatever contribution was necessary to support the family during this difficult time.

"Our senior officers with the Community Safety Department, especially Metro Police, will be enquiring further from the family about the type of assistance that they may require and which is within our competence," she said.