Remarks by Honourable Premier RM Mtshweni-Tsipane on the occasion of the funeral of Cllr Linah Malatjie

09 January 2022

Programme Director;
The bereaved Malatjie and Leshaba families;
The Ministers and Deputy Ministers Present;
The Members of the Executive Council in our midst;
Members of the National and Provincial Legislatures present;
The Executive Mayor of Nkangala District Municipality, Cllr Leah Mabuza;
All Executive Mayors in our midst;
The Speaker of the Emalahleni Local Municipality present today;
All Councillors present ;
Representatives of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA);
The leadership of the St Engenas Zion Christian Church in our midst;
Our Leadership in the National Executive Committee, the Provincial Executive Committee, the Regional Executive Committee of the African National Congress led by Cde Gwede Mantashe;
The Leadership of the African National Congress Women’s League, led by Cde Bathabile Dlamini;
The Leadership of the tripartite alliance and other political formations;
Senior government officials led by the Director-General, Mr Makhukhu Mampuru;
The community of Emalahleni;

  1. Programme Director, on behalf of the Provincial Government, it is my honour to join the people of Emalahleni and Mpumalanga as we gather to bid a sad and painful farewell to our Mayor and comrade, Mme Linah Malatjie and Ntate Essau Malatjie.

  2. We are grief-stricken by the untimely passing of our Mayor and our comrade. Mme Malatjie was a selfless leader who lived a life of purpose, a life of impact and displayed an unwavering commitment to the empowerment and liberation of the marginalised and disenfranchised.

  3. Indeed, we have lost a true soldier and servant of the people.

  4. Beneath our tears and sorrow are great memories of the indomitable legacy that Mme Malatjie leaves behind. Her legacy lives on in her family, in all communities across Emalahleni, and in all progressive structures she served in across the Province.

  5. Born in Lynville in Emalahleni, Mme Malatjie experienced, first hand, the devastating impact of poverty, unemployment and inequality on our communities. It was this experience that birthed her political consciousness and moulded her to be an activist.

  6. Mme Malatjie was a strong proponent of the adage that education is the key that unlocks the doors of progression and prosperity, and as a teacher by profession, she moulded the minds of many in attendance today.

  7. She spoke fondly and with pride whenever she relayed stories of the impressive strides her former students were making in life. It is by no means a surprise that she lobbied relentlessly for government and the private sector to provide bursaries to deserving students, regardless of their race or creed.

  8. Her track record of championing the provision of bursaries to deserving students, both at the Nkangala District Municipality and Emalahleni Local Municipality, remains unmatched.

  9. As an activist driven by the desire to better the lives of our people, Mme Malatjie has been tasked with a number of responsibilities since the advent of our democratic dispensation, including but not limited to, serving as a Municipal Manager of Emakhazeni Local Municipality and as the Executive Mayor of Nkangala District and of course the Emalahleni Local Municipality.

  10. Everyone who has had the honour and privilege of working with Mme Malatjie will attest to the fact that she executed her responsibilities with great skill, precision, selfless dedication and unwavering commitment to serving with integrity.

  11. It is difficult to speak of her, as the late because we were not ready for her untimely departure. Her enormous skills and insights on spatial planning, municipal finance and accelerated service delivery programmes, made her a rare breed within the local government sphere.

  12. In her honour, the Emalahleni Local Municipality must give full momentum to the accelerated service delivery programme which she championed. This programme will address the lack of proper maintenance of infrastructure whilst removing the bottlenecks that are an obstacle towards optimal service delivery.

  13. Mme Malatjie was a fervent advocate for local economic development. She was at the forefront of initiatives to unlock the economic potential of Emalahleni.

  14. One of these initiatives is the collaboration with the local taxi association to revitalise the economy of the town, especially the taxi rank and its surroundings.

  15. Mme Malatjie, as a firm believer that public private partnerships can accelerate infrastructural development in our towns, played a central role in coordinating the participation of all role players from the Private and Public sectors to develop a retail mall in the area adjacent to the taxi rank. In a couple of weeks, I will oversee the sod turning ceremony that will birth the mall that will be named after Mme Malatjie.

  16. Programme Director, Mme Malatjie embodied what effective intergovernmental relations envisaged. She would avail herself at a minute’s notice to ensure that Government at local and provincial level operated seamlessly and in the best interests of our people.

  17. When racial tensions flared up at Witbank Technical High School in May last year, Mme Malatjie and I spent over 12 hours engaging the parents, the School Governing Body and the students. We made a commitment that we will not leave the school until an amicable solution was reached. On that day, a commitment to non-racialism and unity was achieved.

  18. As a peacemaker, Mme Malatjie played a central role in ensuring that racial tensions in the school and surrounding community were soothed. The school is now an excellent example of the principle of unity in diversity. Such was the extent of her commitment to fostering unity and social integration.

  19. When I delivered the State of the Province Address last year, I made a commitment to commence the process of constructing a tertiary hospital in Emalahleni. Mme Malatjie, along with the Municipal Council proactively identified and availed land for purposes of this project.

  20. This was evidence of her commitment to accelerate infrastructural development for the benefit of the people of Emalahleni.

  21. Upon completion of the construction of the hospital and in honour of Mme Malatjie, the tertiary hospital shall be named the Linah Malatjie academic hospital.

  22. Programme Director what I have cited are two examples that reflect the leadership qualities of the one we are gathered to bid farewell to. Beyond our grief and pain, lies an unwavering commitment to emulate the way in which Mme Malatjie lived her life.

  23. We must commit ourselves to building better communities that are inclusive, safe, progressive and prosperous.

  24. Programme Director, the ANC in the Province has lost a pillar and an advocate for unity. As an activist, Mme Malatjie was able to find a home in the broad church of ideologies that is the ANC. She appreciated the fact that the ANC is the only vehicle that can lead society towards socio-economic emancipation and restore the dignity of our people.

  25. As we pay homage and send off a true comrade, we must return to activism and take our rightful place on the correct side of history. We must join hands and build our communities.

  26. We must not retreat from our responsibility to attain a fundamental renewal of the ANC and the acceleration of socio-economic transformation of our Province and country in line with the message relayed by the President, his Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, during the January 8 commemoration yesterday.

  27. To the Malatjie and Leshaba families, there are no words to quantify the extent of your loss. In one fateful evening, you lost a loving mother and a father who were key anchors in both families. This is a very trying time for the family. May God extend His healing hand over your wounds so that in time you may begin to heal.

  28. We wish to thank you, for selflessly sharing Mme le Ntate Malatjie with us.

  29. The fond memories and the knowledge that they lived a purpose driven life will continue to nourish you, strengthen you and lighten the burden you are carrying.

  30. Robalang Ka Kgotso ba ha Malatjie. Your legacy and service to the people of Mpumalanga will be eternally etched on the fibre of this Province.

  31. I thank you.

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