Preoria - Tributes continued yesterday for Motheo Construction founder Dr Thandi Ndlovu, who died in hospital on Saturday following a head-on crash in the North West earlier that day.

Acting President David Mabuza conveyed his deepest condolences to Ndlovu’s family.

“Dr Ndlovu ran the fulcrum of the struggle for the liberation of South Africa, sacrificing her education to join the ANC and its military wing at an early age.

“She later became a senior political commissar responsible for literacy and education and a military commander while exiled,” Mabuza said in a statement issued by the Presidency.

After her return from exile, she ran a private medical practice before establishing Motheo Construction - one of South Africa’s first black female-owned construction companies.

Ndlovu received awards for her work. She led an impeccable life as a political activist and a champion for women empowerment. Her life symbolised a struggle of rising against any odds, which she cemented in business leadership as well as taking on Mount Kilimanjaro, Mabuza said.

“She played a key role in promoting dialogue for sustainable peace and development in the Great Lakes region.

“We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the Ndlovu family, for their loss is our loss too. May her soul rest in eternal peace,” Mabuza said.

The SA Housing and Infrastructure Fund chief executive, Rali Mampeule, said it was a sad day for the construction industry.

“The construction industry has lost a heroine, a dedicated businesswoman, and a selfless leader.

“Thandi paved a way for a lot of women in the industry and she was on a mission to unlock more opportunities for others.”

Earlier, the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa said it mourned the “shocking and tragic loss of our colleague, our friend, our sister, our mentor, a daughter, a partner, a trailblazer, a vibrant and fun spirit, and a formidable businesswoman.

“Ndlovu was a true inspiration to many who had the privilege to know and work with her.

“Her passing is a great loss to us. Not only was she a former member of the board of the organisation, a past winner of the Businesswoman of the Year awards, she was a constant source of guidance, mentorship and support to the organisation.”

The ANC said it “mourns the passing away of its cadre and outstanding businesswoman Ndlovu, who met her tragic, untimely death on Saturday.”

Ndlovu was “not only a freedom fighter.

She was also a fervent feminist who believed in women and empowered many,” the ANC said.

“Ndlovu had risen to be a household name in the South African business fraternity, impacting on the lives of the less fortunate through her business initiatives.

“Her life achievements and commitment to change will serve as a constant reminder of her selfless contribution worth celebrating.

“To her family, we say their loss is our loss.

“To them we convey heartfelt condolences as they try to grapple with the tragic loss,” the ANC said.

Pretoria News