Pretoria: Over 3 000 mourners from all walks of life gathered in Port St Johns on Saturday to pay their last respects to Gauteng Economic Development MEC Nkosiphendule Kolisile. Kolisile and his two protectors died on Saturday, 20 July on the way to a funeral in the Eastern Cape.
Various speakers at the funeral, which included Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, praised the late MEC, describing him as a selfless servant of the people, who had dedicated most of his life to the development and empowerment of the marginalised.
“Today … we are gathered here not just to mourn but to celebrate the life of Kolisile for his [life] was dedicated to the struggle for the liberation of the poor,” said Mokonyane.
“We bury MEC Kolisile during Women’s Month. Undoubtedly his humble background placed him in good stand at internalizing the challenges faced by women.
“It is therefore hardly surprising that at the time of his untimely death, he was working hard in organising women cooperatives to work closely with the Gauteng Department of Health to enhance the laundry capacity of Gauteng hospitals by providing these with the responsibility of cleaning and providing laundry services for Gauteng hospitals.
“According to a poet, Henry Wadsworth, ‘When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him lies on the path of men’. Kolisile was one such great man.”
The African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, who was also in attendance, noted that Kolisile was his protégé and one of the characteristics that he admired about him was his ability to stand his ground in what he believed in and speak truth to power.