Despite a strenuous and demanding career, the late former minister of environmental affairs Edna Molewa was still a family woman who spent as much time as possible making memories with her family, her son told mourners at her official funeral in Tshwane on Saturday.
Basiame Sethema said in spite of having a time consuming career, Molewa still found time to hold their family together.
Sethema recalled she would spend as much time as she could with her loved ones and would always be excited to plan December holidays.
"She was still in our lives as much as she could [be]," said Sethema.
He added that his mother was extremely special, not only to the family, but to everyone she had encountered.
"A lot of people have said amazing things about my mother. All those things have brought comfort to us and [made] us smile."
Molewa's grandson Orgone Kitchin said his grandmother was very caring, loving, understanding and hardworking. The most important lesson he learnt from her was to do more and say less, Kitchin said.
Molewa's brother Fana Mmethi described the late minister as a remarkable, strong woman who “swam among the sharks and outsmarted them”.
These sentiments were echoed by ANC Women’s League chairperson Bathabile Dlamini and Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
"Comrade Edna was not a coward. [She] did not melt like ice when it was difficult," said Dlamini.
She added that the women's league plans to feature Molewa in a book about the 100 phenomenal women in South Africa.
Makhura said Molewa spoke her mind on every issue without hesitation.
"What you saw is what you got. She did not bare any grudges and would disagree openly. We loved her for being an open book, she was a wonderful human being. May her beautiful soul rest in eternal peace," said Makhura.
Molewa, 61, died on September 22 of Legionnaire's disease in a Pretoria hospital.
Various dignitaries and politicians attended the funeral, including President Cyril Ramaphosa and former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki.