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Ramaphosa pays respects to Edna Molewa’s family after minister’s death

The president says the ANC and country has lost a really talented and knowledgeable person in government.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa pictured on 22 May 2018 in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Picture Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has visited the home of late Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa in Pretoria on Saturday evening to pay his respects to her family.

Ramaphosa declared an immediate period of national mourning following Molewa’s passing at a hospital in Pretoria earlier on Saturday after falling ill while on a state visit to China.

She was 61 at the time of her sudden death.

Ramaphosa says the African National Congress (ANC) and the country has lost a really talented and knowledgeable person in government.

“We will forever remember Edna Molewa as one of those women who advocated women’s rights. She was also always trying to push the recognition of the role that women should play in our movement [and] in the country. And as far as the ANC is concerned, this is a very big loss.”

The president says he is saddened personally by Molewa’s sudden death.

“I’ve just sent my condolences to her mother, daughters, and family. It is a very sad moment, but we’ve also wished them strength.”

IMPECCABLE STRUGGLE RECORD

The Economic Freedom Fighters has also added its voices to the growing number of tributes to the late minister following the announcement of her death.

The red berets have described Molewa as an inspiration for being the first woman to become premier of the North West province.

The party's Sixolise Gcilishe said: “We pay special condolences to the family, friends and the ANC. Molewa was a hard-working minister and a public servant with an impeccable struggle record. May her soul rest in perfect peace.”