South Africa: Message of Condolences of Chairperson of the Speakers Forum

We have learnt with deep sadness the passing on of the former Speaker of the Free State Legislature, Mme Mantsheng Anna Tsopo on the 31 December 2016. Mme Tsopo served the democratic government and the South African Legislative Sector with distinction in various capacities since 1994 until her resignation as a Member of Parliament in 2015 due to ill-health.

Mme Tsopo served as a Deputy Speaker and Speaker of the Free State Legislature during the 4th term of democratic government. She chaired a Reference Group of the Speakers Forum, responsible for capacity development of Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs). Under her visionary leadership, the Reference Group conceptualised, designed and implemented a unique development programme that is aimed at empowering MPs and MPLs to effectively and efficiently carry out their constitutional obligations, while also providing recognised qualifications for members.

Her leadership, left behind a formidable track record of over 700 MPs and MPLs, who graduated with certificates, diplomas, and degrees up to a Masters level. Her humble and exemplary leadership was demonstrated when she subjected herself to various phases of the programme despite being a Masters Degree graduate already, and in so doing inspired many members to participate. It is in this role that she will always be remembered and missed by the Legislative Sector. We have lost a humble, selfless and a dedicated champion of life-long learning.

The Speakers Forum wishes to extend its condolences to her husband, children, family, friends and colleagues. May her soul rest in peace.

We also wish to extend our condolences to the current Speaker of the Free State Provincial Legislature, Honourable Mamiki Qabathe, who tragically lost two grandchildren who drowned in a swimming pool over the weekend. May their souls rest in peace.

Members of the Speakers Forum will join these families when they lay to rest their loved ones, the Mamiki family funeral on Friday and the Tsopo family on Saturday this week.

Source: Parliament of South Africa

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