'The country is poorer without Edna Molewa' - Tributes pour in for late environmental affairs minister

Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs. (File,  Netwerk24)
Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs. (File, Netwerk24)

Tributes continue to pour in for Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molowa who died on Saturday after a short illness.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has conveyed its sincerest condolences to the 61-year old’s family.

“Minister Molewa was one of the most hard-working ministers in South Africa’s democratic dispensation. Her efforts contributed in great measure to the success of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),” Spokesperson Alex Mashilo said in a statement on Saturday.

“She was highly dedicated and outstandingly represented South Africa and the whole of humanity in the UNFCC,” Mashilo added.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation said it learnt with great sadness of the passing of Molewa.

“Comrade Edna played an important role in the struggle for our liberation while she served in the civics and labour movements,” the Foundation’s Siyabulela Geba said in a statement on Saturday.

“We wish to express our deepest condolences to the Molewa family and the African National Congress to which she belonged,” Geba added.

The EFF sent its heartfelt condolences to Molewa’s family, friends and the ANC.

“Mama Molewa was one of the hardworking ministers and public servants with an impeccable struggle record. She was involved even as a trade unionist and leader in the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union,” Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement on Saturday.

Deputy President David Mabuza says Molewa’s departure leaves “us with a great void”.

“It is with great sadness that I join President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC in conveying our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Comrade Edna Molewa. She was an extraordinary and selfless servant of our people. Her departure leaves us with a great void,” Mabuza tweeted.

Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said that the country “was indeed poorer without her”.

“Few of us have had their courage tested the way she did, and we can confidently say that she was one of the tried and tested leaders of our movement. From my family to hers, her friends and comrades. I send our heartfelt condolences and support during this difficult time,” Dr Dlamini Zuma tweeted.

Several leaders are expected to pay a visit to the late minister Waterkloof residence while the nation observes a period of mourning.

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte will be paying a visit to the family home on Saturday evening, as well as President Cyril Ramaphosa before he has to depart for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, according to reports.

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