Edna Molewa's family: She taught us the value of selflessness

Edna Molewa's family says they have always known that she was not theirs alone, but belonged to all of South Africa. She passed away on Saturday following complications from legionnaires’ disease.

FILE: The late Edna Molewa pictured during January 2018. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The family of the late Minister Bomo Edna Edith Molewa thanks all South Africans for their messages of condolences following the untimely passing of their daughter, mother, grandmother and sister.

The family's statement:

Our sister passed away on Saturday, 22 September 2018 following complications from legionnaires’ disease. Knowing she had been ill has done little to lessen the blow. South Africa today has lost a great leader: an activist, a patriot and a revolutionary who has been called to Her Maker, leaving us bereft.

It is testimony to the high regard in which she was held by so many people, that messages of support and tribute continue to be received from not only South Africans, but from people 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.

She has left an indelible mark in the lives of the millions of people who had the privilege and honour of knowing her. Hers was a life dedicated to the service of the people, and to the betterment of the people of South Africa in particular.

The scroll of history has recorded the life and deeds of this great woman who played a formative role in the liberation of South Africa.

We are comforted in the knowledge that we are not alone in this, our darkest hour.

Our sister was a woman of many exemplary qualities; chiefly amongst them was her unwavering, deep and abiding faith. It is a faith that sustained her throughout her life, and it is that faith from which we draw sustenance as we mourn her, but also commemorate an extraordinary life lived in the footsteps of Christ, and in service to her fellow man.

She was a dedicated member of the African National Congress (ANC), an organisation she joined in her youth, and to which she dedicated her life. She served her movement with distinction, and when she was called upon by the ANC to join the government, she did not hesitate to heed this call.

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.

We as the family have always known that she was not ours alone, but belonged to all of South Africa.

We as the family recall that from her earliest years she was somebody who stood firmly for justice; not content to remain a bystander to history – but taking up the cudgels on behalf of the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized.

She imparted to us as her family the enduring values of humility, and persistence even in the face of adversity. But most of all she taught us the value of selflessness.

In commemorating her life, we draw on the words of the gospel of Matthew, and of the three servants, who were entrusted with the property of their master. This parable offers us today a valuable lesson in how to approach life when you have been entrusted with something of value: and in particular when it is your own talent.

Bomo Edna Edith Molewa took what she had been given in life and multiplied it, over and over again. Not once did she bury her talent in the ground and hope for salvation.

We, as those who knew and loved her, should take comfort today that her Lord will say, as he did in the Gospel of Matthew: “Well done, my good and faithful servant” - and welcome her into His Kingdom.

Our departed sister will forever be remembered, and she is already sorely missed. Robala ka Kgotso.

‘Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.’