Speech by the Acting Premier of the Northern Cape, Mr. Mxolisi Sokatsha, at the memorial service of the late MEC for Education, Grizelda Cjiekella-Lecholo

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Programme Director

Members of the Executive Council
Speaker and Members of the Provincial Legislature
Chairperson of the Women’s League
Members of the Alliance partners
Fellow mourners
Ladies and Gentlemen 

“For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s”. This is the reassurance given to us by our Heavenly Father in the book of Romans chapter 14, verse 8.

Last week Friday morning the people of the Northern Cape Province were greeted with the sad news of the passing of one of our most trusted and beloved daughters in the Province. As we gather here today, we still lack the words to adequately describe the great sense of loss that we feel as a Province and the greater South Africa.

We are comforted by the fact that our former MEC for Education, Comrade Grizelda Cjiekella-Lecholo, lived a life that was mainly dedicated to the wellbeing of others. As an outstanding leader, from a very young age; Comrade Zelda made a remarkable contribution to the development and transformation of the society she represented. She has left an indelible imprint in the struggle for the liberation of our people. She has built a great reputation as a politician and a woman of principle.

Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Northern Cape Provincial Government, I want to give thanks for the exemplary and inspiring life of the person that we knew in life as Grizelda Cjiekella-Lecholo. As a member of this Provincial Government she was held in high esteem and one could always feel her presence because she was so confident and had an infectious laugh that could brighten up the dullest day.

I know that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that she was an outstanding community leader with a bubbly personality who has made a huge contribution to this Province. We often refer to the Northern Cape Province as a Province of extremes. Today I want to pay tribute to our departed colleague, friend, sister, confidant and an ambassador in the fight for women’s rights and the rights of the vulnerable; by saying that she was by all definitions of the word an extreme human being. Comrade Zelda was a woman of extreme courage, extreme determination, she possessed extreme leadership qualities and because of her extreme sacrifice she has helped us to create that better life we aspire for all our people. 

Although we are saying goodbye, you will remain forever in our hearts and on our minds. We thank you for the light that you were in our lives. We are also grateful to our Heavenly Father that he allowed you to share your life with this beautiful Province. 

Your work is done, your hands are at rest, and we will continue to honour you by building on the foundation that you have laid. The morning of Friday, 28 August 2015 will forever be remembered as a day that the Northern Cape Provincial Government and its entire people were shocked into silence. We are sad but we have not lost hope. Today I want to rewrite the words of Romans chapter 14, verse 8 by stating that; “For when MEC Grizelda Cjiekella-Lecholo lived, she lived to the Lord, and when she died, she died to the Lord. So then, whether she lived or whether she died, she was the Lord’s”

 Let us take solace in the fact that you lived a life that was not for yourself but for the well-being of others. May the family find comfort in the fact that their daughter, sister, wife and mother dedicated her entire life to improve the lives of her fellow human beings and her efforts, although we can never repay her, have not gone unnoticed. 

We will continue to honour her. Rest in eternal peace our dear sister and friend.

I thank you


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