Honourable Programme Director
Lelapa loo Rra Maine le lelapa loo Rra Morule; and all the bereaved
families, including the African National Congress family
The national and provincial leadership of the ANC, the leagues and all
the Alliance structures
All current and former elected public representatives across all the
national, provincial and local government spheres
Baagi ba Mamusa le Afrika Borwa ka bophara
Baeng botlhe ba ba leng gone mosong ono bao ba tlotlegang
Comrades and friends
Ladies and gentlemen
Accept our most sincere condolences.
It is said that a mother’s love is always with her children and that losing
a mother is one of the deepest sorrows a heart can know.
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However, her goodness, her caring, and her wisdom live on, like a
legacy of love that will always be with you.
We, the people of the African National Congress and citizens of this
Province, have indeed in the late Cde Sophie Maine lost a mother to
both the young and the old, a unifying voice of reason in times of deep
division and disagreement, a rock upon which the pre-democracy
foundation of the governing party in this Province had been built, a
strong woman of substance, iMbhokodo, a leader of our people.
She came from a generation of selfless women who were prepared to
take the fight against apartheid to the then regime; and this was
inclusive of the fight to ensure the total emancipation of women from all
forms of oppression; she came from a generation of women that were
shaped by the material conditions of their era and made it their mission
to contribute to the liberation of her people and the freedom of future
The following quote from the late Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
rings true when one seeks to define Cde Sophie’s commitment to the
liberation struggle and I quote, “I have ceased a long time ago to exist
as an individual. The ideals, the political goals that I stand for,
those are ideals and goals of the people in this country. They
cannot forget their ideals. My private self doesn’t exist. Whatever
they do to me, they do to the people in this country”.
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Mama Sophie was a product of her people and their struggles – she
continued to carry their aspirations and personify those struggles until
her last day on this earth.
To some of us who had come into contact with her through her political
work, she was an embodiment of revolutionary commitment to a cause
aimed at making a lasting difference in the lives of her people.
It is a fact of history that Mama Sophie went about her work in
parliament and the African National Congress with diligence and in a
dignified manner; and treated every one with respect and warmth,
irrespective of people’s social standing.
As an elected public representative at the dawn of democracy, she was
unwavering and instrumental in elevating the struggles of women,
people with disabilities and the vulnerable at the heart of her
parliamentary work for a period of ten years.
It is therefore very disheartening to witness the setbacks we have been
faced with, as society, in the emancipation of women brought about by
the continuing cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) across the length
and breadth our country; at times, the perpetrators going unpunished
and still at large.
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The freedom of women and children in this country continues to be
violated by those that society expects to be guardians instead of
murderers and rapists; is this the South Africa that Mama Sophie and
her generation so bravely fought for and dedicated the prime years of
their lives to attaining?
We need to dip our heads in shame, as leaders and society, that we live
in a society that has become dangerous for women and children to free
exist within – and in Mama Sophie’s memory, we need to do more to
ensure that our homes, neighbourhoods and public space are safe for
all, including women and children.
We are thankful for her life and her commitment to a free and just
society; we are equally in immense pain because of our inability to have
gathered en masse to afford her a send-off befitting her stature in this
community, province and country due to the restrictions in place as a
result of our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
We, therefore, have an inherent responsibility that, in her memory and of
those that have come before her, we make it our mission to deliver
quality services aimed towards the betterment of the lives of the most
downtrodden; we should not waver from our historical commitment to
emancipate the majority of our people from the shackles of poverty,
inequality, unemployment and lately, the spread of the novel
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Let us dare not fail her.
However, we are a society besieged by a litany of allegations and
accusations in the public as well as private sector spaces – we have
become so much obsessed with consumption and self-enrichment that
the generation of Mama Sophie and those that came before her would in
fact be ashamed of the conduct displayed by some of us who hold public
When we recently published our Provincial COVID-19 Expenditure
Report, I alluded to the fact that to steal from the people who have
entrusted you with leadership is a crime but to steal from them during a
pandemic is a crime against humanity.
The manner in which some of us have behaved with the public purse in
the procurement of goods and services in the last four months in the
fight against the spread of COVID-19 leaves much to be desired – in
fact, the older anti-apartheid generation and those that laid the post1994 foundations of our democratic dispensation would look down on us
with utter disdain; for we have not displayed the attributes of what and
how a leader should be in a time of crisis.
The late Cde Chris Hani, in an interview on how a future government
should look like, said, and I quote, “What I fear is that the liberators
emerge as elitists… who drive around in Mercedes Benz’s and use
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the resources of this country… to live in palaces and gather
I fear to say indeed those that Cde Chris Hani referred to are well and
alive amongst us – the allegations and accusations on the rampant
corruption surrounding COVID-19 procurement as well as the alleged
involvement of public office bearers is enough cause for concern.
Corruption has become such a painful and distasteful part of our social
fabric that we have normalised its existence in our midst; this is a
serious indictment to what our society and some of its leaders have
The worst disease in today’s society has to be corruption and it is
curable; we need to be transparent in how we disburse the public purse
and not a society where media leaks force us to publish COVID-19
This is not the society that Mama Sophie, Mama Winnie, Helen Joseph,
Lillian Ngoyi and all the other pioneering leaders of our people had in
mind when they committed the better part of their lives to the struggle
and freedom of the oppressed masses.
It is therefore upon us as those that are entrusted with the public purse
to ensure that our conduct will not subject the poorest of the poor to
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further economic suffering, entrenched poverty and institutionalised
inequality for generations to come; we need to use the resources in our
disposal to change the lives of our people in memory of Mama Sophie
and his contemporaries.
May her revolutionary soul find eternal peace because nothing will ever
take away our collective memories of Mama Sophie.
To the entire family, may your memories be ones that give you comfort
and be reminders of happier times.
I thank you.
Ends Eulogy – Mme Sophie Maine – 26 August 2020 (1)
Honourable Programme Director