Dr Mathews Phosa celebrated in style
MBOMBELA - Dr Mathews Phosa’s 70 years on this earth and in South Africa’s history was recently celebrated in true style. The Phosa family and their nearest and dearest came together at Christie’s at 32 on Russell on Saturday evening to celebrate the man whom speaker after speaker lauded for the impact he has had, not only on their individual lives, but on Mpumalanga and South Africa as a whole. Phosa, whose political and business credentials speak volumes, led the ANC and Government at a time when there were a lot of uncertainties in the country, following the regime change after the 1994 general elections.
He was only 42 when he was sworn in as the first premier of Mpumalanga under the democratic dispensation. As leader of both the ANC and Government, his task was to unite the province, which he executed with distinction. His strong command of the Afrikaans language helped him win the hearts of the white communities.
In her speech on the evening, former Lowveld Media group editor, now Caxton national group editor, Irma Green, spoke about Phosa’s early years as premier and the impact he had with his vision for the economy, but also his ability to speak plainly about the things that mattered and his attempt to unite communities.
“It is an honour for me to still serve on the Innibos board of directors with you. You never deviated from your commitment to all communities, and while our country has gone through hard times, you remained critical of injustices and spoke out against corruption and that which was tarnishing our beautiful land.
“Women’s Month has just ended, but I need to give credit to you, Ma’am Pinky, for being a pillar of support to Dr Phosa during all these years. You are one of the strongest women I know.
“Dr Phosa, tonight we celebrate your life and legacy, but we are not letting you off the hook. This country still needs you.”
In both their turns to address their esteemed guests, Mathews and his wife, Pinky, confirmed what effect both of them have had in forming each other over the years. Mathews singled out almost every single guest in attendance and shared something of his history with them, which added a special ending to the evening and all the celebrations.