IFP whip bids Parly farewell after 37 years

2014-03-13 21:04
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - It went past like a bullet, the National Assembly's longest-serving MP told his colleagues on Thursday.

"Today, is an historic day in my life. In fact, it is the last time I will be speaking in Parliament, as I'm retiring," IFP Chief Whip Koos van der Merwe said in a farewell speech.

"I've come to the end of more than 60 years of being an activist... I remember [the election of] 1948 - I was distributing pamphlets and putting up posters.

"[I've] been in Parliament 37 long years, but it went past like a bullet." Van der Merwe told the House he had served under seven heads of state, starting with John Vorster. He was first elected to the National Assembly on 30 November 1977, as a member of the National Party.

He planned to write his memoirs.

"I will be writing about my life in Parliament - from the days of apartheid until now, because I have seen the whole movie."

Van der Merwe, who turns 77 later this year, revealed that Thursday was also his son and wife's birthday.

A qualified lawyer, he said he was proud of the 18 years he had served on the Judicial Service Commission.

"For me, as a lawyer, this was the pinnacle of my legal career, and the one I'm most proud of, in assisting to build a solid South African judiciary."

Van der Merwe then offered some sage advice to members.

"Be always respectful. To your parents, your grandparents, your teachers, your employers [and] the elderly. Be respectful.

"Be disciplined. You must always arrive in time, properly prepared so as to make meaningful contributions.

"In short... be humble. To be humble is the road to political success."

He then doffed his black hat and said he wanted "to thank the Almighty for granting me the privilege of having served so long in Parliament".

His voice breaking slightly, Van der Merwe than said it was time to say goodbye.

"Goodbye, Hamba Kahle. Fluit-fluit, my storie is uit [whistle, whistle, my tale is done]," Van der Merwe said.

As he walked from the podium, both sides of the House rose and gave the veteran politician a standing ovation.

Thursday is the last scheduled sitting of the National Assembly before the 7 May elections.

Read more on:    ifp  |  koos van der merwe  |  cape town  |  parliament 2014

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?



How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.