MPs remember Kebby Maphatsoe and Hlengiwe Mkhize
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Cape Town – Members of Parliament commemorated the lives of former Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans and leader of the now-disbanded Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA), Kebby Maphatsoe and former Deputy Minister in the Presidency Hlengiwe Mkhize.
Maphatsoe became a MP in 2014 and at the time of his death was serving as a Whip of the Study Group on Sports, Arts and Culture. He died on August 31.
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said his death had robbed the country of a “dedicated, loyal and patriotic freedom fighter, a robust and fearless legislator and a capable leader”.
DA MP Andrew Whitfield commended Maphatsoe for his way in handling debates during committee meetings and always respecting the views of the opposition.
“We, in this house, all need to rise above the petty politics of personality and challenge ourselves to develop a more responsible and mature approach to politics based on the issues that matter to this nation. We wish his family, friends and colleagues in the ANC the courage to overcome this difficult time. May his soul rest in peace,” Whitfield said.
The news of Maphatsoe’s death came as a shock to the red berets, said EFF MP Isaac Mafanya. He added that Maphatsoe became the father to all South Africans through his deeds.
IFP MP Zandile Majozi said her party valued the contribution made by Maphatsoe in the fight against apartheid: “His dedication in the liberation of South Africa will always be remembered.”
FF Plus’s Wouter Wessels described Maphatsoe as a dedicated member of the ANC who fought for what he believed in.
Parliament’s portfolio committee on police chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson said she learned a lot from Maphatsoe and described him as a comrade who could be depended on.
“He had a wisdom that was not easily earned. It was clear that he thought deeply about the problems addressed before he would utter a word,” she said.
Majodina also reflected on the life of Mkhize who died on September 16. She said her untimely death had robbed the country of a “selfless patriot, a well-rounded cadre, an experienced global citizen with vast experience in civil society struggles, and a passionate defender of human rights with a commitment to improving the quality of life especially for women, children and persons with disabilities”.
“She was a formidable leader who served with courage, dignity and respect,” Majodina said.
DA MP Luyolo Mphithi said his first encounter with Mkhize was in 2011 when he was still a student. He described her as humble and down-to-earth.
“She will be remembered for her dedication to her work. The loss of Professor Mkhize is a loss for our nation,” he said.
EFF MP Primrose Sonti described Mkhize as a phenomenal woman who had a genuine passion for young people and caring for disabled persons.
“South Africa was truly blessed to have a leader like her,” Sonti said.