Bavelile Hlongwa hailed as a 'mother to many' at memorial service
Durban - Late Mineral Resources and Energy deputy minister Bavelile Hlongwa was a staunch Christian who loved her mother and children of her late siblings, said KwaZulu-Natal parliament Speaker Ntobeko Boyce.
Talking to Independent Media during the Hlongwa’s memorial service organised by the ANC at the Durban City Hall on Thursday, Boyce spoke about the Hlongwa she knew as a person other than a comrade in the ruling party.
Former president Jacob Zuma is scheduled to be a keynote speaker in the packed hall.
She said Hlongwa left behind children of her late siblings she was bringing up.
“So there are children in the Hlongwa family who are now orphan for the second time.
“They buried their parents but they never felt that because Bavelile took over.
“To them what happened is something else,” said Boyce.
Boyce spoke about Hlongwa who was a “very strong wind” and a person who had strong beliefs.
“She was a feminist, she was a strong feminist,” she said.
She said Hlongwa’s personality reflected the rural community she came from in Umzinto, on the province's south coast. She believed in the development of rural communities throughout the country.
“She would go to deep rural areas in any province to support bereaved families,” said Boyce.
She said she was concerned about young people and their education.
She said there were many youth ANC members who Hlongwa took under her wing and they are now formidable leaders.
Boyce also described her as person who knew how to balance her Christian beliefs with those of her political views.
“She loved her mother. She would never say anything without mentioning MaMshazi, her mother."
She said the fact that she was run over by a car on the N1 while trying to assist victims of another vehicle accident was a reflection of Hlongwa's personality.
“Bavelile lived the life of a kind person. She lived a selfless life and she died a selfless person.
“Yes, it is painful to us but that what consoles us is the way she died.
Hlongwa will be buried on Saturday after the funeral service at the Durban's ICC.