SA mourns the late Minister Molewa
Remembering the late Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa
South Africans have bid farewell to the late Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa who passed away recently at the age of 61. She died as result of complications related to Legionnaires' disease – a severe form of pneumonia.
The Minister was sent off in an official funeral (category 1), which is reserved for serving Ministers, among others.
Paying tribute to the late Minister, President Cyril Ramaphosa referred to her as an extraordinary leader of the people.
He said her passing was a devastating loss to the nation and to the global community, who owed a great debt of gratitude to the late Minister Molewa for her championship nationally and globally of the environmental integrity of a sustainable planet Earth.
“We shall miss her greatly,” the President said.
Minister Molewa served the South African government in many portfolios. She distinguished herself in many field, and had most recently been bestowed with the Officier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur (or Officer in the French Legion of Honour) by the French government.
The Legion of Honour celebrated Minister Molewa's commitment to South Africa, the struggle for freedom and democracy, women's rights and the fight against climate change.
The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) also paid tribute to the Minister, and honoured her for her contributions and pioneering leadership in numerous spheres.
Minister Molewa was inaugurated in March 2017 as the first Chancellor of the SMU and served in this capacity until her untimely passing.
“Dr Molewa fully and unconditionally embraced the vision and mission of the institution and contributed immensely during her short term of office to the stabilisation and development of the SMU,” the university said.
“The SMU owes a great debt of appreciation to our Chancellor for representing the institution with passion and distinction, and for introducing the SMU as a fledgling institution to important national and international networks,” the university added.
Speaking on behalf of the Molewa family, the Minister's brother Fana Mmethi said the family appreciated the messages of support and tributes from South Africans and people from across the globe.
“It is particularly difficult to come to terms with her passing, given that she was cut down in the prime of her life when she still had so much to offer to her family, her friends, her colleagues, her church, and to her community,” said Mmethi.
Minister Molewa was the North West MEC for Environment from 1996 to 2004. From 2004 to 2009, she was the Premier of the North West. In 2010, she became the National Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs.
Molewa was internationally recognised and respected in the climate change fraternity, and has been in the vanguard of global efforts since the genesis of the Paris Agreement at the 2011 COP17 in Durban.