Greenpeace Africa & SANParks send condolences to Edna Molewa's family

There's been continuing tributes from political parties, parliament and organisations in the environmental sector.

Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The country continues to mourn after the death of Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

Molewa passed away at a Pretoria hospital yesterday following a short illness. She fell ill after accompanying president Cyril Ramaphosa to a state visit in China earlier this week.

There's been continuing tributes from political parties, parliament and organisations in the environmental sector.

The Greenpeace Africa has on Saturday morning sent its condolences to Molewa's family.

The organisation's Oliver Meth said: “We are quite saddened by the sudden passing of the minister. She leaves quite a big legacy of engagement, that we as the Greenpeace Africa will be holding as a beacon.”

SANPARKS 'AT A LOSS FOR WORDS'

SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said: "Firstly, we would like to pass our sincerest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and all those associated to the late minister. We are all at a loss for words. The minister was instrumental in putting conservation on the government agenda and was hands-on in getting allies to help in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.

"She was also active in lobbying to mitigate the effects of global warming at the United Nations. Her work speaks volumes and her legacy will remain with us forever.”

The SANParks said Molewa facilitated the signing of Memoranda of understanding with many countries to advance the fight against illegal wildlife trade. She was also leading The Rhino Integrated Management Strategy and very concerned about the scourge of rhino poaching as a true conservationist and patriot.

It added that under her leadership, there has been a reduction in the number of animals poached in the country. She also facilitated the various donations and loans of wildlife to other African countries to promote tourism and conservation.

Molewa's family has described her as a revolutionary and someone who was vested in the betterment of South Africans.

Family spokesperson Fana Mmethi said: “She was just a humble person, a very straight-talking person, very loyal. And she united our family. We are really going to miss her.”

Ramaphosa says Molewa will be accorded an official state funeral. He has ordered all flags be flown at half-mast.