Molewa family grateful for support

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The family of late Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has expressed gratitude at the messages of support they have received after she passed away on Saturday. 

Family spokesperson and brother, Fana Mmethi, said the Minister succumbed to complications of Legionnaires disease. 

“Knowing she had been ill has done little to lessen the blow. South Africa has lost a great leader, an activist, a patriot and a revolutionary, who has been called to her Maker, leaving us bereft.” 

Mmethi said the family has been overwhelmed by messages of support and tributes from South Africa and across the world. 

“It is particularly difficult to come to terms with her passing, given that she was cut down in the prime of her life when she still had so much to offer to her family, friends, colleagues, her church, and her community.

“She has left an indelible mark in the lives of the millions of people who had the privilege and honour of knowing her. Hers was a life dedicated to the service of the people and to the betterment of the people of South Africa in particular.” 

Mmethi saluted Molewa for the role she played in the liberation of South Africa.  

“We are comforted in the knowledge that we are not alone in this, our darkest hour. Our sister was a woman of many exemplary qualities, chief amongst them was her unwavering, deep and abiding faith.

“It is a faith that sustained her throughout her life, and it is that faith from which we draw sustenance as we mourn her, but also commemorate an extraordinary life lived in the footsteps of Christ, and in service to her fellow man.” 

He described Molewa as a dedicated member of the African National Congress (ANC), an organisation she joined in her youth, and to which she dedicated her life. 

“She served her movement with distinction and when she was called upon by the ANC to join government, she did not hesitate to heed this call.

“It is a source of enduring pride for us as the family that our sister, who rose from such humble beginnings, became first a Member of Parliament, then a provincial MEC, then a Premier and a Minister.

“Such was the faith vested in her by our country’s leadership that she was called upon to serve as an Acting President on numerous occasions. She was held in extremely high regard by international leaders, especially in the environmental fraternity.” 

Mmethi said the family had acknowledged that she was not theirs alone, but belonged to all of South Africa. 

“We as the family recall that from her earliest years, she was somebody who stood firmly for justice, not content to remain a bystander in history but taking up the cudgels on behalf of the poor, the oppressed and the marginalised.” 

Mmethi said the late Minister has imparted in the family enduring values of humility and persistence, even in the face of adversity.

“Most of all, she taught us the value of selflessness. Bomo Edna Edith Molewa took what she had been given in life and multiplied it, over and over again.  Not once did she bury her talent in the ground and hope for salvation.” 

The Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa (Limusa) has also added its voice to those paying tribute to Molewa. 

“She was a committed cadre to the transformation of our society. 

“She was a product of the trade union movement. In the 1980s, she played her role in the trade union movement. She was the second Deputy President of CCAWUSA [Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union of South Africa], and later the first Deputy President of SACCAWU [South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union]. The working class in South Africa is much poorer without her. 

“Her passing has left the movement and the country poorer than before. She was a true cadre of our movement in her own right… She is counted amongst the true heroines of our democratic dispensation.” 

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday declared a period of mourning with immediate effect and ordered that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at all flag stations countrywide and at South African diplomatic missions abroad. 

Molewa was the Premier of the North West between 2004 and 2009. Thereafter she was appointed Social Development Minister between 2009 and 2010. She was appointed as Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs in 2010 before the two portfolios were split after the 2014 general elections. 

 She maintained the Environmental Affairs portfolio until her passing. –