POLOKWANE – Speaker of the Limpopo Legislature, Polly Boshielo, sent heartfelt condolences to Mashamba’s family, friends and colleagues following the death of the icon who had served in various portfolios within provincial government.
“As the Limpopo Legislature, we send our heartfelt condolences to the family of the late MEC Mashamba who served Limpopo with diligence. We are saddened by this great loss, which is even greater to her family and husband, George, who is also a selfless leader in his own right. May her soul rest in peace,” Boshielo said.
As former ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member, the party extended their deepest condolences to Mashamba’s husband and ANC stalwart, George, her family, comrades and friends.
Limpopo Premier, Chupu Mathabatha has learnt with sadness of the passing of MEC Mashamba.
“On behalf of my family and I, the NEC and the people of Limpopo, I send my deepest condolences to George, the children and the family. She passed away in the line of duty and we will continue to miss her. Her counsel, her wisdom in both governement and society, will be sorely missed,” Mathabatha said.
Deputy Director of Public Relations and Stakeholder Management at the Department of Social Development, Adele van der Linde, who worked with Mashamba for many years, first came to know Mashamba when she was deployed at the Department of Treasury in 2006. They worked together in various departments over the years until Mashamba was deployed to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development last year. Van der Linde had served as Mashamba’s spokesperson, interruptedly, for nine years.
“MEC Joyce Mashamba loved including minority groups in activities of her departments and was always striving to build bridges and improve relations across the cultural divide. I know it sounds cliché to say she was a mother to all but that’s the best way to describe her. A mother to all without fear or favour. She would always say ‘we must begin to join hands with all of the citizens of this country’, but indeed she was doing so long before I met her and continued to do so right until the end,” Van der Linde said.
She added Mashamba was passionate about uniting South Africans and she was always interested in the well-being of one’s family. “I will never forget her support after my maternal uncle died and the support she gave my family during my father’s illness and death. To this day, my aunt remembers her words of support. Just like a mother and child, we had a fight or two but she always greeted me with ‘my skattebol’ when I answered her phone calls,” Van der Linde added, saying Mashamba had a wonderful sense of humour and hearty laugh.
“The love she and George shared and the way they acted like a typical old married couple is something that will remain with me forever. People who didn’t know her, or at least met her, missed out on an opportunity to meet a true lady and an exceptional, strong and loving mother and grandmother. I will miss her immensely and will always remember the lessons she taught me.” One of Mashamba’s four children, Wisani, said the family will always remember his mom for her big heart and her love for people. “My mom was a social activist. She leaves behind four children and seven grandchildren. She did not get a chance to meet one of her grandchildren, the baby was born after her death. She was always happy and someone who wanted people to be empowered,” Wisani said. He added his mom was a mother to most people in her community and she always set out to change people’s lives.
“To us, she was a champion of social development. She was the champion of human rights because when we were growing up, she always taught us that women are not objects, and not to abuse women in any way,” he said, adding his mom always taught people to learn to love one another. Her aim was to unite all people, regardless of race, culture or tradition.” DA Limpopo Provincial Leader, Jacques Smalle, said the DA learnt with great sadness of Mashamba’s death.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Our condolences also go out to her colleagues in the ANC. As a member of the NEC, she maintained the functionality of the departments she headed and earned respect across all political party boundaries,” Smalle said.
Mashamba’s memorial service was held yesterday, 27 June, in the Great Tiro Hall at UniLim.
There will also be an alliance memorial service at 10:00 at Shiluvhani village, today, 28 June. Her funeral will be at 08:00 on Saturday, 30 June at Mudavula Stadium.