By SIZWE ZWANE
THE FAMILY OF the late Environmental Affairs Minister Bomo Edna Edith Molewa has thanked all South Africans for their messages of condolences following the untimely passing of their daughter, mother, grandmother and sister.
The late Minister’s brother Fana Mmethi said his sister passed away yesterday following complications of Legionnaires’ disease.
“Knowing she had been ill has done little to lessen the blow. South Africa today has lost a great leader: an activist, a patriot and a revolutionary who has been called to her maker, leaving us bereft. It is a testimony to the high regard in which she was held by so many people, that messages of support and tribute continue to be received from not only South Africans, but from people across the globe.
“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, her friends, her colleagues, her Church, and to 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,” said Mmethi.
Mmethi said his sister was a woman of many exemplary qualities; chiefly 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. She was a dedicated member of the African National Congress (ANC), an organization 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 the 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, to a Premier, to 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,” he added.
He said as the family have always known that she was not ours alone, but belonged to all of South Africa; they recall that from her earliest years she was somebody who stood firmly for justice; not content to remain a bystander to history – but taking up the cudgels on behalf of the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized.
“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.
“We as those who knew and loved her should take comfort today that her Lord will say, as he did in the Gospel of Matthew, Well done, my good and faithful servant and welcome her into His Kingdom. Our departed sister will forever be remembered, and she is already sorely missed,” concluded Mmethi.
Meanwhile, the EWN reported that ANC President Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at the Molewa home to pay his respects to the family. President Ramaphosa has declared a period of mourning and ordered that the National Flag be flown at half-mast countrywide and at South African diplomatic missions abroad.
Ramaphosa says the African National Congress (ANC) and the country have lost a really talented and knowledgeable person in government.
“We will forever remember Edna Molewa as one of those women who advocated women’s rights. She was also always trying to push the recognition of the role that women should play in our movement [and] in the country. And as far as the ANC is concerned, this is a very big loss.”
The president says he is saddened personally by Molewa’s sudden death.
“I’ve just sent my condolences to her mother, daughters, and family. It is a very sad moment, but we’ve also wished them strength.”
Our country is in mourning today; we have lost one of our most outstanding daughters, Edna Molewa… She was one of the most outstanding, brightest and hardest working Ministers… this is a great loss to the Congress movement. firstname.lastname@example.org