African National Congress (ANC) stalwart in the Western Cape and former Member of Parliament Rhoda Joemat has passed away at the age of 71.

She died in a Cape Town hospital after undergoing surgery last week.

ANC Spokesperson in the Western Cape, Dennis Cruywagen says Rhoda’s home was a refuge for many young activists during the apartheid struggle.

“Mrs Joemat, Comrade Joemat, auntie Rhoda as she was known to many, and also grandma to her grandchildren was the member of the United Women’s Congress, the UDF (United Democratic Front). She was the Treasurer of the ANC in the Western Cape and was known as the person, who really worked among the mothers of Athlone and mobilised ordinary men and women to become part of the struggle and to say ‘No’ to apartheid.”