Mabe’s death ‘a great loss to our country’

2014-12-01 13:57

Free State legislature speaker Sisi Mabe was a strong woman, brilliant and yet humble, says the legislature’s spokesperson Life Mokone.

“She was a real servant of the people and her death is a great loss to our country,” she said after Mabe’s death, at the age of 47, at the Vereeniging Mediclinic yesterday after a long illness.

“During her lifetime, honourable Sisi Mabe served in many structures of the alliance and the ANC, including in the national working committee, since 2012,” said Mokone.

“She also served in many levels of our democratic government including in the executive council as the MEC responsible for health and subsequently public works and rural development.”

The African National Congress Women’s League said Mabe had been deeply committed to advancing the cause of women’s rights in South African society.

During her tenures as both MEC for health and later MEC for public works and rural development, she had played a pivotal role in mainstreaming gender issues within policy and political decision-making.

“This is a sad day. In the late Sisi Mabe we had a committed and hardworking comrade who never lost sight of the immense responsibility that leadership had placed upon her, and upon us all, to remember our duty towards those who elected us,” said women’s league president Angie Motshekga.

She said Mabe’s election as speaker of the Free State legislature in May was in line with the league’s call on each province with a male premier to elect a female speaker.

“As a member of the women’s league’s policy subcommittee she played a pivotal role in the formulation of the Gender Framework 2014 and the series of recently released discussion documents around issues affecting South African women in the 20 years since democracy,” said Motshekga.

“As we look to the future of women’s rights in South Africa, today we have a road map to chart the course, and this is in no small part due to the efforts of activists like comrade Mabe.”

The Democratic Alliance said it had learned with sadness of the death of Mabe.

“The DA conveys our condolences to the family of Sisi Mabe, her friends, colleagues, and to the ANC,” said Roy Jankielsohn, DA leader in the Free State legislature.

Mabe was born in Phiritona, Heilbron, in the Free State in 1967, and was a teacher by profession.

She cut her teeth in politics as an executive member of the South African National Democratic Teachers’ Union, responsible for gender issues.

She later became the regional treasurer of the women’s league in the Free State.

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