South Africa’s first National Assembly speaker in the country’s democratic dispensation, Dr Frene Ginwala will be cremated in a private ceremony on Saturday. This is in accordance with her family’s wishes.
Ginwala died on Thursday at the age of 90, two weeks after suffering a stroke.
The former Speaker is hailed as a staunch advocate for the rights and empowerment of South African women. She was the African National Congress (ANC)’s obvious choice as the only candidate for the position of Speaker.
A meeting of the ANC’s senior officials is expected to take place on Sunday in her honour. The party’s Secretary-General, Fikile Mbalula explains, “The ANC dips its revolutionary banner as it mourns the passing of a great leader and architect of our democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa. Hamba Kahle comrade Frene! The African National Congress wishes to pass our condolences to the family. There will be a private ceremony for a crematorium and then which will be followed by an official service led by the government and the ANC officials will meet on Sunday. We’ll reflect on how we want to celebrate the life of comrade Frene.”
Amongst her accolades – the Order of Luthuli in Silver for her contribution to the struggle for democracy was awarded to Ginwala in 2005 by President Thabo Mbeki.
Faced with the delicate task of presiding over a house of a transitional government, the one-time lawyer and journalist played a critical role in the country’s advancement during her stint as Speaker.
A meeting of the ANC’s senior officials is also expected to take place later today in her honour.
Former Communications Minister Yunus Carrim pays tribute to Dr Ginwala:
Meanwhile, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has called Ginwala a special person who was part of the founding board of trustees for the foundation.
The Foundation’s CEO, Sello Hatang has extended condolences. Hatang adds that she was one of those people who were founding trustees of the Foundation. He recollects speaking to Ginwala’s colleagues and recalls them saying she was one of “those strict voices”.
“She didn’t ever mince her words about what needed to be done, in terms of good governance and ensuring that the institution is run well. I think if we are to do anything as a country- is to take this moment, and reflect on that legacy, and ask ourselves: Are we doing enough to ensure that we make that legacy live on – and continue to live beyond all of us, and beyond her lifetime,” he asks.