Durban — The Royal Bafokeng nation is mourning the loss of queen mother Semane Bonolo Molotlegi, who passed away after suffering long illness, aged 77. Her passing comes as a great loss to the community of Phokeng in the North West.
She is the mother of current King Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi.
The king served as chancellor at the North-West University (NWU) for two terms.
A spokesperson for the university said for a number of years, the queen mother was responsible for annually providing two bursaries for postgraduate students in the Faculty of Education.
“In 2003, the then University of the North-West, one of the predecessors of the NWU, honoured the queen mother with an honorary Doctorate degree in recognition of her role in nation-building.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to Kgosi Leruo Tsekedi Molotlegi and the rest of the royal family as well as to the Bafokeng nation as a whole. The NWU will always honour her and remember her, especially for her passion towards education which resulted in many education advocacy programmes. Her legacy is the success and future contributions of many education students who benefited from her generosity and dedication. May her soul rest in peace,” the spokesperson said.
North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha also paid tribute to the late Queen Mother.
“As the MEC for Health I pay tribute to this fallen hero and queen mother in respect of her role in the fight against HIV/Aids and the role of her nation in the delivery of health care. The Royal Bafokeng Administration continues to deliver in diverse health service delivery programmes including health infrastructure development and emergency medical services, which had an immense impact in the fight against Covid-19,” the MEC said.
The queen mother was one of the founding members of the Provincial Council on Aids (PCA) in the North West province.
For many years since the inception of the PCA, before it was dissolved five years ago, the province had the highest honour of having the queen mother’s contribution.
She served on the Aids Council with distinction, despite her busy schedule. She mobilised resources for the council.
Her love for the people of North West province and not only the Bafokeng tribe, will never be forgotten. She always championed the well-being and aspirations of young people, especially children.
The sector of People of Living with HIV/Aids in the province spoke fondly of the relationship they had with her. She displayed this love to a point where she influenced Gabatshwane Gumede to write a book where she shared her experiences as a young girl who experienced hardship and devastating effects of HIV.
It was through her role in the council that PCA managed to better its relationship and partnership with traditional leadership, which resulted in many great encounters and programmes with Magosi in the province.
“I was looking forward to her continued support to the provincial Aids Council in its current re-establishment form to share her wisdom and activism for women, children and the Aids agenda. We are saddened by her loss and wish to send condolences to the family, friends and the great nation of the Bafokeng,” Sambatha said.
[Read] @NationalCoGTA Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister, Dr Nkosazana @DlaminiZuma has expressed sadness at the passing of the #RoyalBafokengQueen Mother, Dr Semane Bonolo Molotlegi https://t.co/9q1WJTANaQ pic.twitter.com/gQOBuYwASV— @SAgovnews (@SAgovnews) December 1, 2020
Words cannot express my shock and sorrow on the news of the passing of the Royal Bafokeng Queen Mother, Semane Bonolo Molotlegi.A global peace advocate lovingly called Mamogolo, she was a quintessentially kind, wise and strategic leader who led from behind. #RIPQueenofPeace pic.twitter.com/FMvNf67Byt— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) December 1, 2020
Queen Semane Bonolo Molotlegi (Royal Bafokeng) Has Passed Away https://t.co/TlVZBui45x— KedstaSA (@KedstaSA) November 30, 2020
Condolences to the Royal Bafokeng Family on the passing of Mmemogolo Semane Bonolo Molotlegi.— Felicia Mabuza-Suttle (@Feliciamabuza) November 30, 2020
She was indeed a nation builder who cared for the poor & vulnerable.
She talked to @DrEarlsPearls & I to visit @LeboneCollege to inspire the students. Would still be honored to visit. pic.twitter.com/vLOTSMtLIj