Ginwala had a huge influence on my life: Lawson Naidoo

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The Executive Secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC), Lawson Naidoo, says anti-Apartheid activist Dr Frene Ginwala had a huge influence on his life.

Naidoo says he has worked closely with her since the mid-1980s, in exile.

He shares some of his personal experiences of knowing Ginwala.

“I do know Frene from close to forty years. We met when I first joined the ANC in London in the mid-1980s, and she was a mentor to me. Throughout all the time I have known her and worked with her on and off during those 35 or so years, including obviously working alongside her when she was speaker of the National Assembly, we were very much family, and she always referred to me as her little brother. We had a very special relationship; she is going to be sorely missed. She had a huge influence in my own life.”

Naidoo also paid tribute to Ginwala for the contribution she made towards democracy and Parliament.

“I think Frene has made a huge contribution to the liberation struggle as a leading member of the African National Congress, working very closely with President Oliver Tambo’s office and obviously post-democracy. She served as the first Speaker of the democratic Parliament, and you know, to turn that institution into one that needs to serve the people and to realise the vision that is set out in the constitution which she was a part of the drafting of that constitution.”

Lawson Naidoo remembers his time with the late Dr Frene 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.

Reflecting on Dr Frene Ginwala’s legacy: Sello Hatang: