Pretoria - The late Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, who passed away last week, was remembered at a memorial service arranged by her department on Thursday.
"Let me say, I want to thank all those people who loved her and those who didn't love her. Those who didn't like, I want to thank you in the spirit because you didn't know that you are sharpening the type. When you were trying to pull her down, God was arranging for her. She had that fighting spirit," Molewa's brother Fana Mmethi addressed mourners at the Christian Revival Church (CRC) in Silverlakes, east of Pretoria.
"She didn't start the fighting when she was in Parliament ... she started the fighting with me. I've heard people speaking of her humility, she was very stubborn when we were raised. She could fight."
Molewa, the former Premier of North West province, died at the age of 61 in a Pretoria hospital on Saturday following complications with Legionnaire's disease.
Another family representative, Dr Godfrey Mmethi said he was proud because in death, Molewa proved that her good works were appreciated by many.
"Today, we have realised that she lived to be that remarkable leader. Her followers have been here, on this podium, and they have confirmed that they were more than willing to die for her. It is our pride as a family. She was powerful indeed. Her power was legitimate, as bestowed by the South African government, but she also had expert power. She was well read, and she liked reading. I'm a professional but when I consulted with Edna, she always said go back to school," he said.
"At our last gathering, with our family, she recommended about eight books, which she said we must read. Her power was an expert. She was also very influential."
On behalf of Molewa's children, daughter Nono Mogaswa, told the gathering that she was celebrating her mother's well-lived life.
"It is on a sad note that we are standing here today, and yet our hearts celebrate. We celebrate because we had a privilege to call Mme Edna Bomo Edith Mmethi Molewa our mother. We had the privilege to be raised, to be mentored by the best. We had the privilege to be loved by the best, and I stand here on behalf of my siblings - Didi who is standing here with me, Michael who is still sorting out some few work things in Mafikeng, and Basiame who is sitting here. I want to thank you all for the tributes that have been coming," she said.
"That has been strengthening us. For the prayers that have been pouring out to give us strength, we are truly grateful. I want to speak to the DEA [department of environmental affairs] family, thank you for being a part of Mama's life for the last eight years. Thank you for being there for her when she was away from home. The DEA family became our family as well. I have had the privilege of working very closely with many of you over these eight years."
The sombre event was directed by Albi Modise chief director for communications at DEA. The official memorial service will be held on October 3.
African News Agency (ANA)