Children’s trust fund to honour Haswell

2014-11-01 00:00

HIGHER Education Minister Blade Nzimande and his wife presided over the launch of the Penny Haswell Education Trust, in honour of the Pietermaritzburg civic stalwart, at her home yesterday.

The Haswell family created the Penny Haswell Trust Fund with the Thandanani Children’s Foundation to honour Haswell’s life, which was dedicated to helping children in need.

It had been the intention of Haswell and her husband, Rob, the former Msunduzi municipal manager, to provide children of all ages with funding for education.

It was decided by the couple that the trust would be in her name to benefit the Thandanani Children’s Foundation, which the Haswells founded in 1989 for the care and support of vulnerable children.

“I assured Penny in her last few days that I would take care of it and set up the fund,” said Rob, who was brought to tears as he watched children of Penny’s school, Lindiwe Edu-Care, dressed in their Halloween costumes and singing songs in her memory.

“This is her legacy,” he said.

Nzimande said there was no more appropriate honour for Haswell, who died on Sunday after a battle with motor neuron disease, than the trust.

“Penny’s memory will live on.

“Penny is a hero. She will remain engrained in the minds of many people. She was a courageous woman,” said Nzimande.

His wife, Phumelele Ntombela-Nzimande, who was a friend of Haswell’s, said she felt she and her husband had become part of the Haswell family.

“Few people have a heart like Penny’s. She was a phenomenal woman, it has to be said.

“My son Lunga is a pilot. He had no hope [of succeeding] if it wasn’t for Lindiwe’s foundation [the pre-school Haswell founded],” she said.

Former KZN premier Zweli Mkhize’s wife, May, said Haswell ran “a real South African house where everyone felt comfortable speaking in any language they choose”.

“We must celebrate her life,” she said.


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