South Africa has lost a selfless leader.  That was the overwhelming message from people who paid their last respects to Dr Laura Mpahlwa.

Aunt Laura, as she was fondly known, died last week. She was buried in Mthatha with a special official provincial funeral.

Prof Khaya Mfenyana a retired academic says: “Aunt Laura played a major role in building relations between the university and the community and also between the department of health and the numbering. The tripartite relationship assisted in the establishment of the community development health centres. Through her help we built four community health centres.”

Despite her busy life, she was a mother dedicated to her family.

Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa her son says:  “It is indeed difficult to imagine this home without her. Since the departure of dad, you remained a pillar of strength in our lives and extended your life in a very gentle way.”

Gen Bantu Holomisa United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader says: “She will be remembered as an activist at her own right but also made a sacrifice when her children went to exile and her husband worked behind the scenes.”

Dr Mpahlwa was at the forefront of the anti-apartheid struggle.

Dr Snuki Zikalala from the ANC Veterans League says: “Aunt Laura as veteran’s league we will ensure that our movement delivers on our manifesto. We only have 12 months to provide quality services to our people. The veterans league will hold government to account. Those who unable to deliver must step down.”