UPDATE | WC legislature activities suspended following death of DA MPL Lorraine Botha

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DA MPL Lorraine Botha.
DA MPL Lorraine Botha.
  • Political parties paid tribute to DA chief whip Lorraine Botha, who died on Wednesday.
  • Botha died after collapsing at work. 
  • Premier Alan Winde said he was "deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss". 

The speaker of the Western Cape provincial legislature, Masizole Mnqasela, has announced that all parliamentary activities have been suspended following the death of MPL Lorraine Botha.

Botha died after collapsing on the fifth floor of the legislature, which houses the DA's offices, on Wednesday.

"As an expression of respect to honour the late Honourable Botha, our chief whip, and her family, ... all parliamentary activities are suspended for the rest of the week," Mnqasela said.

Condolences poured in from across the political spectrum.

Premier Alan Winde said he was "deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss". 

"Lorraine will live in our memory forever as a kind and loving colleague, who was admired equally by our own caucus as well as members of other political parties," he said. 

Winde said her contribution to the DA, and to South Africa and its people, will always be valued and remembered.

"The DA caucus of the Western Cape Legislature will miss her and hold her legacy high," he said.

READ | Party funding: DA scores big in first quarter, ANC and PA submit declarations late

Botha was elected to the Western Cape parliament in 2014 and served as the chairperson of the standing committees on the premier and constitutional matters, education and social development.

In May, Botha was appointed as the chief whip in the legislature, taking over from Mireille Wenger, who had served in the position since 2019.

The caucus leader of the ANC, Cameron Dugmore, said Botha was a valued member of the legislature.

"She always made efforts to get on with all members, irrespective of party affiliation, and she will be fondly remembered for this and for her kindness. She had the ability to go beyond party politics, it is heart-wrenching to write about her in the past tense," he said.

"Botha touched lives with her commitment and hard work, to improve the lives of the people of the Western Cape and her constituency in the West Coast," he added. 

The EFF's Melikhaya Xego said the tragic loss was a sad moment.

READ | Malema believes Mashatile would make 'better' ANC leader than Ramaphosa

"Member Botha was such a great leader, who was very inclusive in her approach as a chief whip of the Western Cape parliament. We worked very well as different parties with her and we wish to express our sincere condolences to the Botha family, friends and the Democratic Alliance," he said. 

Ferlon Christians, the provincial leader of the ACDP, said: "Words fail to come to mind as we try to come to grips with her sudden passing. 

"I have known Lorraine since her arrival at the legislature in 2014. We had a close working relationship throughout her years and in all the responsible roles that she held at the legislature."

GOOD's Shaun August said Botha served the legislature and the people of the Western Cape with great humility - and had been instrumental in advancing the interests of residents.

"The people have lost a servant leader, who has done a great deal for the province at large and her constituency in Bergrivier," he said.

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