Parliament mourns Minister Edna Molewa

JOHANNESBURG – Tributes continue to pour in for late Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa who passed away on Saturday following a short illness.

Presiding officers National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise, "have run short of words to express their deep sorrow and disbelief at losing such a fine and dedicated servant leader of the people, and one of the longest serving members of parliament", a statement said.

Molewa’s passion for sustainable development, anchored on the full appreciation of the environment as the source of prosperity, growth, and human development, permeated every facet of parliament's work national and internationally, it said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa described her passing as a devastating loss for the country.

He's declared a period of mourning, with immediate effect, and has ordered that the national flag be flown at half mast at all government posts here and diplomatic missions abroad.

Different organisations, political parties, dignitaries and society at large conveyed condolence messages to the late Minister’s family.

 “Mama Molewa was the first woman Premier of the North West, something that must continue to inspire all of us in society to have confidence in woman leadership,” Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said in a statement.

“During her tenure as Minister of Environmental Affairs, the Minister did great work raising awareness around the scourge of Rhino poaching. On this day, World Rhino Day, we honour her commitment to this noble cause,” reads a statement by the Democratic Alliance.

The Thabo Mbeki foundation also threw its weight behind those conveying messages of condolence.

“Our Patron, President Thabo Mbeki, the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation wish to express our deepest condolences to the Molewa family and the African National Congress to which she belonged.”

READ: Ramaphosa declares period of mourning following Molewa's death 

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela took to Twitter to express her deep sadness on receiving the news of Molewa’s passing.

“The news of the sudden passing of Minister Edna Molewa have hit many of us with shock and deep sadness. Her contribution to environmental awareness and action will be remembered nationally and globally. Heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues,” reads the tweet.

- Additional reporting ANA