Condolences have been pouring in for the family of Theewaterskloof mayor Kallie Papier who died on Sunday following a long battle with cancer.
Papier died of complications after being admitted to hospital a week ago, the municipality said.
The 63-year-old was a member of the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and was elected the mayor of the Theewaterskloof municipality after the Local Government Elections in 2021.
Theewaterskloof deputy mayor John Michels said the municipality was deeply saddened by the loss.
“In life, Kallie Papier epitomised everything that is good. His community service extended far and wide beyond politics and as a community leader he had a deep emotional bond with the people.
He had the almost superhuman ability to look into people’s souls and notice pain, hatred and distress He never turned away from his people and, in every crisis, found solutions to alleviate hardship. He was in so many ways a 'healer' of people.
“(Sunday) morning Kallie Papier passed away after a long battle with cancer and there is probably not a single person who knew him, or had to deal with him, or knows of him, who does not feel this great loss. We extend our condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, the greater community,“ he said.
Family spokesperson Athéne Toring said Papier fought every challenge with ease.
“Executive mayor Kallie Papier... always fought for his people. The mayor has walked a long political road but where ever he has been, he fought for the people and their freedom. He is a mayor of the people and he is going to leave a big space in our hearts. He has shown us what it truly means to be a patriot,” she said.
PA national spokesperson Steve Motale described Papier as an example of an excellent leader who worked well with other coalition partners, with humility and respect.
“The PA became his family in the two years since his departure from his previous political party. He had served as a deputy mayor for several years before coming to the realisation that he would always be overlooked as a mayoral candidate despite being overwhelmingly the best person for the job. He proved this, with distinction, since his election by council in a new coalition government after the 2021 local government elections.”
“He became increasingly diminished in the last months of his battle against terminal lung cancer, but he always put the welfare of the community first and remained true to his oath of office to his last breath. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his widow, children and extended family,” Motale said.
DA provincial leader Tertuis Simmers said they were saddened by the news.
“During this challenging period, we wish to convey our sincerest sympathies to Mayor Kallie Papier's family, friends and colleagues. Having worked with Kallie over a number of years, first as colleagues and then as opposition, we recognise and honour his unwavering commitment to public service,“ he said.
GOOD leader Patricia de Lille said Papier will be remembered as a remarkable leader who never turned away from his people.
“Papier and his executive team have exemplified integrity and good governance. Their commitment to the people of Theewaterskloof has shown how coalitions can work for the people not just for political self-gain. May he rest in peace,” said De Lille.