File picture: Phill Magakoe

Cape Town - African National Congress stalwart Rhoda Joemat has died in Cape Town, the ANC in the Western Cape said on Sunday.

"Surrey Estate resident Rhoda Joemat, one of the most respected, admired, and influential elders in the ANC in the Western Cape, has died. She was 71," ANC interim provincial coordinator Ronalda Nalumango said in a statement.

Joemat had been a person of integrity and principles. “Auntie Rhoda leaves a legacy of selfless service to the people of South Africa, particularly the men, women, and children of the Western Cape. Nothing was too hard for the Joemat family. We are indebted to them and want to thank them for their service to the struggle for democracy.

"A legend in resistance politics circles because of her pioneering role in mobilising mothers in Surrey Estate and surrounding areas, Rhoda Joemat and her husband Paul turned their home into a safe haven where activists would also be fed," Nalumango said.

A bookkeeper by training, she was a leading member of Cape Areas Housing Action Committee, United Women’s Congress, UDF, and also a treasurer of the ANC in the Western Cape, as well as a Member of Parliament. She was also a dedicated member of the Moravian Church.

She had been described her as a "non-nonsense person who, as a member of the regional deployment committee, had played a role in South Africa’s transition to democracy to identify people who would serve the new political order".

Joemat was survived by her husband, their children Rowena, Bradley, and Che, as well as their grandchildren. Funeral arrangements would be announced later, Nalumango said.

African News Agency (ANA)