Thembekile Luthuli-Ngobese, the daughter of struggle stalwart Chief Albert Luthuli played a vital role in the fight for freedom and democracy, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Monday. He said that after the fall of apartheid, her passion for community development defined her. "She was an authority on the issues of community based organisations and the NGO fraternity as an agent for reconstruction and development, an area that was neglected by many leaders," he said.The youngest daughter of Albert Luthuli, Thembekile, died after a brief stint in hospital following complaints of severe headaches.READ: Chief Albert Luthuli's youngest daughter dies"She became the champion of the poor, working to develop skills as she understood that true freedom comes through economic empowerment of the majority, said Mkhize. Her down-to-earth attitude and humility earned her deep respect as she spent time working at grassroots level. He said she never demanded the "limelight or personal recognition for the massive work she did amongst ordinary people", he said. "She was a committed teacher who loved people and believed that everybody can be empowered with skills. She successfully changed many people’s futures for the better."The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal also hailed her as a community activist saying she was often behind the scenes of civil rights for women, not only in communities, but within the ANC. "Like her father, Cde Thembekile was a great philanthropist, teacher and giver. She molded many women headed households that were left without father figures after their husbands were taken to work in the mines," provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said. She added: "She was a pillar of strength and beacon of hope to many. Her death has left a great void not only in our hearts, but in the hearts of the many women who drew strength from her teachings and the society at large."