African National Congress’ Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte shared her fondest memories of when she worked with the late MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Joyce Mashamba. Duarte was speaking at the MEC’s funeral at Malamulele in Limpopo.

She says Mashamba made a huge contribution to the ANC Women’s League during the apartheid-era. “ We had no idea that the ANC would be unbanned and we didn’t know at that time that unbanning was even going to be on the cards, what we knew was that we needed to develop a cadre of women to advance un-governability in this country and not to give any space to the Apartheid regime. Comrade Joyce led that project like a general. She was disciplined, clear in her focus. She planned very well as you heard from Nomvula. Programs of action were not thumb sucked, they were planned and they were processed properly. The women who were real back bones of this program, Joyce Mashamba was the general.”

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe who was also among those attending the funeral, says Mashamba fought for the rights of women.

Former President Jacob Zuma, the SACP’s Blade Nzimande and others attended the funeral service. Radebe says people must emulate the late Mashamba. “Comrade lived her entire life in her service of her people, and that is the call of comrade president Cyril Ramaphosa’s “thuma mina” campaign, we can only ask where will you be when we count those that have been sent, she especially fought and lived for rights of rural women until her last breath.”

Radebe also endorsed government’s intension to ramp up land redistribution to deserving South Africans. Public hearings into proposed land and expropriation without compensation have taken place in the Northern Cape and Limpopo

Meanwhile Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha collapsed during the funeral service. Masutha has been rushed to Medi-clinic heart hospital in Pretoria. The ministry’s Mukoni Ratshitanga says Minister Masutha is in a stable condition.

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