Minister of environmental affairs Edna Molewa passed away at 61 years of age on Saturday.
Molewa was premier of the North West and minister of social development before her current position.
The fact that today is World Rhino day is significant, as Molewa was the minister tasked with stemming the tide of rhino poaching.
The ANC has released a statement on her passing.
“The African National Congress has learned with sadness and sense of enormous loss the passing of Edna Edith Bomo Molewa who was an NEC & NWC member as well as cabinet minister at the time of her passing,” the statement says.
“This sense of loss is beyond comprehension,” it continues.
“Her passing on has left the ANC and the country poorer given her role in advancing the country’s transformation agenda. She has been and will always remain a symbol of rare social and political activist who rose in the ranks democracy since her involvement in the trade unions before joining the North West provincial government as MEC in various departments, [later becoming] a premier of the province,” said the statement, sent by ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe.
“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 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,” the statement concluded.