Manto 'put the masses first'

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pretoria - Condolences continue pouring in for former Minister in the Presidency and Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who died on Wednesday after a long battle with a liver ailment.

Acting President Kgalema Motlanthe, who is performing presidential duties as President as Jacob Zuma is attending the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen, visited the Msimang residence in Pretoria on Thursday to personally convey condolences on behalf of all South Africans.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, who worked with Tshabalala-Msimang for years, said the former health minister was a life-long and dedicated revolutionary who never put her personal reputation or even her health itself ahead of the needs of the masses.

"It may be too early for us to grasp in its fullness the contribution that she has made to the battle for truth and evidence-based policy making in our country - but surely that time will come.

"I wish to extend my condolences to her family and our movement, the ANC, for losing a comrade of the calibre of Tshabalala-Msimang," Peters said.

Earlier on Thursday, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana Mashabane said the late minister had made a significant contribution to the formation of the Government of National Unity.

"Comrade Manto Tshabalala-Msimang was a revolutionary leader who immensely contributed in the early years of the formation of the Government of National Unity and led women's struggles for emancipation, gender equality and freedom for all.

"We dip our revolutionary banners in memory of this gallant fighter for freedom and peace," said Nkoana Mashabane.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) said it appreciated the immense contribution Tshabalala-Msimang made to the liberation of the country.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to family, friends and to the entire liberation movement," DENOSA said.