Knysna DA Councillor, Magda Williams, died on Sunday at the age of 59, allegedly from a heart attack.
Magda has had a tough time in recent years with her son, Dawid, murdered in 2006 and her daughter, Deidre, run over in 2012 by a driver (who attempted to flee but was stopped by residents). Additionally, she had to deal with challenges in her community such as the Rheenendal school bus crash and the rape and murder of nine-year-old, Rosaline Philander.
She was a staunch critic of the Knysna SAPS with regards her community, disappointed in previous Station Commander, Colonel Donovan Prins, and had sent her complaints up the police chain of command.
Her constituents told me, 2 months ago, that she was under a lot of pressure from ANC members in her home area of Rheenendal (her Ward ran from there to Brenton-on-Sea) and a related incidence, a few weeks later, found her appearing in Die Son tabloid. There were even rumours that her position was under threat from the DA too.
Wherever the truth finally lies, the fact remains that she was under a lot of pressure and may have paid a price for it.
I'd like to remember her the way i first met her (when she'd just become a Councillor, before the DA closed their doors to me) which was at Chaplin's Bistro in Woodmill Lane for a meeting that became, wonderfully, longer than we both expected. We had a lot of laughs and she was so excited by our conversation that she was eager for others she knew to meet me. When she left, it was with a smile and a box of cakes that i organised for her to take back to some of the poorer kids in her neighbourhood.
To you all, the lesson is to live life the best you can, for yourself and for everyone around you. To her constituents, there will be a by-election.
To Magda, may you R.I.P., lady.