Edna Molewa accorded official funeral

Minister Edna Molewa
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the late Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa is to be accorded an Official Funeral by the government.

Molewa died earlier on Saturday after being admitted to a Gauteng hospital earlier in September.

Speaking from outside Molewa’s family home in Pretoria, Ramaphosa sent his condolences to her family and friends, as well as to the African National Congress (ANC).

“As far as the ANC is concerned, this is a big loss because she was a leader recognised by all in our movement. The ANC is poorer by her loss. We are deeply saddened as a country by her loss. I’ve just passed my condolences to her mother, her daughters and her family. It is a very sad moment, but we’ve also wished them strength in all this. The government, we all know now, has declared an official funeral for our sister, Edna Molewa. We will give her a send-off of a person who worked so hard for our country.”

Tributes continue to pour in for Molewa.

ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte also visited Molewa’s official residence in Pretoria on Saturday night to offer her condolences to the family.

Duarte says Molewa’s death is a huge loss.

“We’ve lost a very important person in our lives today. A feminist, woman who really fought for justice, and even in the ANC fought for fairness and justice – an outspoken woman in all issues that matter to the people of South Africa, an ardent and passionate fighter for our environment. She negotiated at all the important United Nations for which she spoke to the global environment.”

Duarte has thanked Molewa’s family for sharing her with South Africans.

“We are still very raw at the moment. We are all hurting. Some of the women comrades I’ve spoken to throughout the day are finding it unbelievable still. We want to say to her family, thank you very much for sharing this vibrant, beautiful woman with the nation and in particular, for sharing her with the ANC for many years.”

North West Premier Professor Job Mokgoro has described the death of Molewa as a great loss to the people of the province.

Molewa was the second Premier of the province after the 1994 democratic elections.

“I think we have all seen the enormous contributions she has been making, in all these areas and now, recently, on her capacity as the Minister responsible for environment. Indeed, a great loss to the country; a great loss to the society; and a great loss to the ANC.”

Residents of Mahikeng have expressed shock over Molewa’s death. They say she was an asset to the province.

“I feel very sad. I once met her in Mafikeng and she just took me like a child, teaching me about politics. She even took me to a national women’s conference in Bloemfontein in 2011.”

Northern Cape Premier, Sylvia Lucas described Molewa as a unifying figure and a most professional and hardworking ministers.

“It is really extremely shocking to hear of the passing of Minister Molewa. She found me as a MEC at the Department of Environmental Affairs. She was one of the most professional people and very intellectual also. So, today it is a shock, because it’s someone that I worked with, but also someone that I became fond of in the years that we were working together.”

Molewa has been a North West Premier, Social Development Minister and was appointed as Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs in 2010, which she held until her passing.

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