THE PASSING-ON of Dr Edna Bomo Molewa has touched many.
Her humility, genius and hands on approach not only made her popular with fellow country-men but the world in its entirety.
As the minister of Environmental Affairs, she drew strength from challenges such as the problematic rhino poaching that is crippling the environment and the economy of the South Africa.
Messages of condolences to the family and friends continue to pour in from all walks of life globally. Her political career included being the Premier of NW, acting President, MEC to MP and finally the minister.
“We are quite saddened by the sudden passing of the minister. She leaves quite a big legacy of engagement, that we as the Greenpeace Africa will be holding as a beacon,” says Oliver Meth from Greenpeace Africa.
SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said: “Firstly, we would like to pass our sincerest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and all those associated to the late minister. We are all at a loss for words. The minister was instrumental in putting conservation on the government agenda and was hands-on in getting allies to help in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.
“She was also active in lobbying to mitigate the effects of global warming at the United Nations. Her work speaks volumes and her legacy will remain with us forever.”
Cope’s Papi Kganare said the country has suffered a loss in Molewa as she was one of the leaders who shaped the course of history with her activities in the African National Congress (ANC) while fighting against apartheid.
Kganare said they’re grieving with Molewa’s family and loved ones.
“Her contribution towards the achievement of freedom is unparalleled. What people don’t know about her is that she spent more than six months in detention because of ANC activities in the 80s.”
Family’s spokesperson Fana Mmethi said:” It is a source of enduring pride for us as the family that our sister, who rose from such humble beginnings; became first a member of Parliament, then a provincial MEC, to a Premier, to a Minister. Such was the faith vested in her by our country’s leadership that she was called upon to serve as an Acting President on numerous occasions.
She was held in extremely high regard by international leaders especially in the environmental fraternity.
People and Parks national secretary MN Molokwane, says like millions others, are saddened by the untimely passing of our beloved Minister Dr. B.E.E Molewa.
The late Minister Molewa was a true champion of the programme. She was dedicated to the integration of biodiversity conservation economy into local poverty reduction strategies based on sustainable tourism, creating employment opportunities through outsourcing conservation-related services to locals.
The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs chairperson, Phillemon Mapulane described Minister Molewa as an outstanding ambassador for environmental activism and sustainable development both internationally and domestically.
It said the committee is saddened by the passing of the Minister as she has played a significant role in environmental affairs both internationally and domestically. She has also contributed immensely in ensuring that South Africa is on par with other nations on matters that affect the sustainable use of the environment.
African National Congress spokesman Pule Mabe said the party had learned “with sadness and sense of enormous loss the passing of Edna Edith Bomo Molewa”, who had also been an ANC national executive committee (NEC) and national working committee (NWC) member at the time of her death.
“This sense of loss is beyond comprehension. Her passing on has left the ANC and the country poorer, given her role in advancing the country’s transformation agenda,” he said.
Molewa had been and would always remain “a symbol of a rare social and political activist” who rose in the ranks of the democratic movement since her involvement in trade unions before joining the North West provincial government as MEC in various departments before being premier of the province.
“Her role was noticeable and she was affirmed as a leader of the ANC NEC, NWC, and a cabinet minister in various departments. Our history as a country will not be complete without acknowledging the pivotal role that individuals like her played in enhancing the impact of the collective effort to make South Africa a better place.
“To her family, we want to thank them for having made available to the country and our people a true revolutionary who knew no other life than that of servitude and commitment to our people. We share in your loss and grief. May her soul rest deservedly in peace,” Mabe said.
“The Democratic Alliance is saddened by the news of the passing of minister Edna Molewa,: DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said in a statement.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends, as well as to the African National Congress. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.
“During her tenure as minister of environmental affairs, the minister did great work raising awareness around the scourge of rhino poaching. On this day (Saturday), World Rhino Day, we honour her commitment to this noble cause. May her soul rest In peace,” Steenhuisen said.
Thulani Nzima, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency board chairperson, spoke highly of Dr Molewa and pointed out it’s a sad day for the environment and tourism sector following her passing.
Nzima also described her as someone who applied her mind, sharp and did her work diligently well. She endowed tenacity that could not be matched.
“She was honoured in France recently for work, that goes on to show the understanding she had in her department. During her tenure as the minister, the country produced the tenth UN World Heritage Site in Mpumalanga recently.
Dr Molewa was also instrumental in both biodiversity and rhino poaching in the KNP, and other heritage sites her department undertook in partnership with MTPA,” he said.
Rest In Peace, said Nzima in his parting shot.
President of Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa has accorded her an official state funeral, and also ordered all flags be flown at half-mast. This in her honour for the work she did both in the country and at the UN.
She was 61.
Robala ka kagiso Dr Molewa.