Joint Sitting - 24 November 2004





Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 14:00.

The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.

                      CALLING OF JOINT SITTING

The Speaker announced that she and the Acting Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr M J Mahlangu, had called a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in terms of Joint Rule 7(2), to honour the late Ms Joyce Lesawana Kgoali, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, who passed away on Sunday, 21 November 2004.

TRIBUTE IN HONOUR OF THE LATE MS JOYCE LESAWANA KGOALI, CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES Sheikh M MOERAT: In the name of Allah, most gracious, most gracious, most merciful, Bismillahie Rahman nier Rahiem. I greet you with the universal greeting of Islam, assalaamoe-alykoem, which means peace be unto you. Al- hamdoe Liel’laahie Rab’biel Aalamien, thanks to the almighty Lord of the universe.

Our salutations on our beloved Prophet Muhamad (Peace be upon Him.)

The Almighty has stated in the glorious Qur’an:

Wherever you soever find yourself, death will overtake you. Indeed, from the Almighty you come, and unto Him you shall return. Praise be to the Almighty in gratitude to Him.

We have heard during the course of the memorial service today great attributes of our late comrade. We wish to pray to the Almighty that those attributes she put forward continue in our lives and that the Almighty bestow His blessings upon her soul. We beseech thee, almighty Allah, to instil in the hearts of her loved ones perseverance and patience and tranquillity, for indeed she was a servant of the Almighty because she served his creation.

Almighty Allah, enjoin our hearts; unite our hearts in truth. Lord of the universe, grant us faith in our hearts that can immerse in the certitude by which we will know that nothing will befall us except that thou hast prescribed for us. Let us be contented with our lot, for thou art the Overlord in this world and in the hereafter. Indeed, the Almighty declares:

From the soil we have created you, to the soil we shall return you, and from it we shall resurrect you.

We beseech thee, Almighty, to bless the soul of our comrade. Thank you very much. [Singing.]

The SPEAKER: I now call upon the Rev Lesley Scott of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was the hon Kgoali’s denomination.

Rev L SCOTT: Shall we bow our heads in prayer? Our gracious and eternal God and Father, we come this afternoon to thank thee for a life, to thank thee, Lord, for a servant, to thank thee for a child of thine who was able to exercise the talents thou endowed her with. Lord, we come as a nation, we come as a people, we come as a family, Lord, to mourn her loss. But, Lord, we thank thee that thou had allowed her to be of service to thy people.

This afternoon, oh Lord, we would just ask thee to bind the hearts that are broken, to wipe the tears from the eyes of those who mourn. Thou hast promised that thou would be with those who weep. Come, oh Lord, and be with them this afternoon.

But as a people, Lord, as a nation, Lord, we ask this afternoon that thou would inspire us, that we may labour for the Master from the dawn till the setting sun, that we might talk of all thy wondrous love and care so that when all of life is over and our work on earth is done and the roll is called up yonder, Lord, we may be there. Help us, Father, that we may never shirk our responsibilities, but do what we can while we can for Christ’s sake. Amen.

The SPEAKER: I now call upon Guru Krishna of the Hindu community.

Guru KRISHNA: Peace be unto her soul. The passing away of our comrade, Ms Joyce, is felt very keenly by all who believe in high ideals in life and practical goodness in human relationships; who believe in her noble soul; and who live a life of lofty dedication, selflessness, sacrifice and ceaseless service unto our beautiful country.

She strove to uphold the great concepts of Satya, truth; Ahimsa, non- violence; and Sudhindra, freedom. We pray for her soul to attain the highest of spiritual illumination and the divine felicity. May God Parmatma grant her supreme peace and blessedness. [Incantation.]

The Rigvedi slogan says: O’ God, thou art the dispenser of justice. Thou recompensate everyone according to his or her deeds. Peace be to the spirit in the westward direction. May there be peace to this spirit also in the east, the north and the south, and all of the directions. O’ all- illuminator God, thou art the creator, the sustainer and the destroyer of this universe, may thou bestow a worthy abode to this noble soul. [Incantation.]

The Rigvedi slogan says: O mortal, by the austerity and enlightenment, and by thy good deeds, attain the bliss in the heaven and join the company of their ancestors. Be free from all sins and, once again, may thy spirit inherit and enlighten the body that is full of lustre and, once again, may thy come to this world to perform noble deeds. Om shanti, shanti, shanti. Peace, peace, peace upon the noble soul.

The SPEAKER: I now call upon Rabbi David Hoffman of the Jewish community.

Rabbi D HOFMANN: This poem of the call to service encapsulates both the life of service of Joyce Kgoali and our ambivalence at her sudden summons to higher service.

Praise me, says God, and I will know that you love me. Curse me, says God, and I will know that you love me. Praise me or curse me, and I will know that you love me. Sing out my graces, says God, raise a fist against me and revile, says God. Sing out graces or revile.

Reviling is also a kind of praise, says God; but if you sit fenced-off in your apathy, says God, if you sit entrenched in, I don’t give a dang, says God. If you look at the stars and yawn, if you see suffering and don’t cry out, if you don’t praise and you don’t revile, then I created you in vain, says God.

This poem-song was written by Hannah Sennesh when, in desperation, she parachuted behind enemy lines to rescue her parents from the Nazis. [Incantation.]

My God, may these things never cease: the sand and the sea, the rush of the waters, the thunder claps in heaven and the prayers of our hearts.

The ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): Hon Speaker, Deputy Speaker, presiding officers of all nine provinces of the Republic of South Africa, former presiding officers - I have recognised Dr Ginwala, a former Speaker of this House, in the public gallery; I am told that the Minister of Education is also in the House – premiers of all provinces, members of the diplomatic corps, members of Parliament, members of the family present here, ladies and gentlemen . . . . . . kulesi sikhathi engimi ngaso lapha phambi kwenu okwamanje, kuthi mangisho ngaleli elami iphimbo nginibikele ukuthi esinye isitho esiwumzimba wethu sihlephukile. Kuthi mangisho, nginibikele ukuthi amanzi achithekile . . . (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[. . . now, as I am standing in front of you, I want to convey our condolences in my own voice. We have lost a very important part of our body. Let me say, or put it this way, it is like water that has been spilled.]

We are gathered here today in memory of the late Joyce Lesawana Kgoali, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. We are here today to reflect and to take stock of the road she has travelled.

Ladies and gentlemen, the hon Joyce Kgoali was an icon of the struggle. We are here today to take stock of the important lesson she has taught us in the remarkably short space of time she has been with us as Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. Today, while she is no more, we have to make sense of the meaning and value of her presence among us.

Indeed, her presence amongst us has left an indelible mark on all of us who have had the privilege of working with her. She has left a mark of fond memories, characterised by hard work and forthrightness in dealing with the business of the National Council of Provinces. She has indeed created a void that will be difficult to fill in the years to come.

From humble beginnings, Joyce rose to be a champion of workers’ rights. She confronted the system that systematically exploited workers with the zeal and vigour that is unparalleled within the workers’ movement. The apartheid regime condemned her to a factory floor, hoping to reduce her to a subservient instrument for the accumulation of wealth for the few. This was, however, not the case, as Ms Kgoali emerged from the factory floor to become a fearless leader who would shake capitalism and its apartheid machinery to its very core.

Indeed, Madam Speaker, so true are the words of Maya Angelou when she wrote, and I quote:

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

These words are so true in that Ms Kgoali rose from humble beginnings to be one of the shining lights and the unwavering symbol of the struggle for democracy in our country.

Ms Kgoali was not only the champion of workers’ rights, but she was also a seasoned campaigner for children’s and women’s rights. She constantly put forward on the national agenda issues that are pertinent to women and children. As a member of the ANC Women’s League, she always reminded us of our civic duty towards the empowerment of women and the protection of children. I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to work with her as one of the presiding officers in the National Council of Provinces.

As the Chairperson of the House, Ms Kgoali quickly established herself as a strategic thinker who was very strong and assertive about her views. She was always on hand to assist us, providing that leadership in our quest to position the National Council of Provinces as a strategic institution best placed to champion the interests of the provinces and municipalities.

In less than two months in the office, she developed what we call “Vision 2009” for the National Council of Provinces. This vision outlines the strategic role the National Council of Provinces will play in the next five years. Vision 2009 places an emphasis on the need to strengthen capacity for provinces and municipalities for the implementation of government policies and programmes that will ensure a speedy delivery of services to the poor. Through Vision 2009, Ms Kgoali challenged us to leave our comfort zones and go to the people, and interact with the people on the issues of reconstruction and development.

As recently as the beginning of this month, she led us through the length and breadth of KwaZulu-Natal, holding meetings with communities as part of the NCOP programme of taking Parliament to the people. The incredible success of this programme is indeed a testimony to her outstanding leadership. So, as we mourn her death, we should find solace in her achievement. It will indeed be a fitting tribute to her if we were to acknowledge and celebrate her achievements, following on the path she has cleared for us.

She was indeed a gallant fighter, a visionary who had so much to offer to our fledgling democracy. We had indeed expected so much from her, tapping on her wisdom as we went about confronting challenges of poverty and unemployment in our various provinces and municipalities. However, until death strikes, we seem to think that reality is reserved only for certain people. We think there is no need for death to lurk around people whose daily commitment and hard work in their lifetime brings light to those who are in darkness and hope to those who are filled with despair.

Yes, death has robbed us of a soldier for the homeless, a comforter for those in need, a voice of the poor and a fighter for those whose rights are frequently trampled upon by the rich and the poor. The manner in which she carried herself as a leader, driven by passion and love for her people, as a tough politician, as a parliamentarian who was rooted amongst the poorest of the poor, has surely carved her name in the great annals of our history. We salute her and lower our revolutionary banner in honour of her sterling contribution to that cause of the poor in our country.

We also remain resolute and steadfast in our commitment to carry forward the work she has started in the NCOP.

Ulwile, walwa ukulwa okuhle. UJoyce uhambile, kodwa uJoyce ukhona lapha phakathi kwethu. UJoyce angeke siphinde silizwe izwi lakhe, kodwa uJoyce liyezwakala izwi lakhe ezindlebeni zethu - liyohlala lizwakala njalo. UJoyce asikho isithunzi sakhe okwamanje phambi kwethu, kodwa ngomqondo wethu siyohlala sisibona njalo. Angeke asuke ebusweni bethu. Usishiye ngokukhulu ukuzuma. Lala ngoxolo qhawe lamaqhawe! Sengathi uThixo angaba nawe! (Translation if isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[She fought, and fought victoriously. Joyce has passed away, yet her spirit is amongst us. We will never hear her voice again, but it will keep echoing in our ears and will echo forever. Although we cannot see Joyce with our naked eye, we will always imagine her picture. She will not disappear from our minds. She left us so untimely. Rest in peace, heroine among heroines! May God bless you!] May her soul rest in peace! I thank you, Speaker.

Mr T S SETONA: Madam Speaker, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, fellow comrades and friends, I indeed feel honoured to be counted amongst those who rise on the occasion of this special Joint Sitting of Parliament to bid a fitting tribute to Comrade Joyce Lesawana Kgoali. I rise to join those who spoke before me to pour their heartfelt condolences to the family of Comrade Joyce Kgoali, the ANC and its family of organisations, particularly the ANC Women’s League, which Comrade Joyce led with distinction.

Having worked with Comrade Kgoali, firstly in the NCOP, and then as deployed by the ANC National Executive Committee in the Free State province, I have come to embrace her not only as a leader, but also as a mother who would never shy away from being a torch-bearer, even under the most difficult circumstances.

That fateful, Sunday 21 November 2004 - the day of her tragic death - will be counted amongst those days that will be remembered by generations to come.

I don’t have words big enough to measure Comrade Joyce Kgoali, but suffice it to borrow from one of the late stalwarts of the ANC, the late Comrade Caleb Motshabi, who once said: ``Discipline and commitment are the only two defining marks of a true revolutionary.’’

For us, the young generation of our movement, Comrade Joyce epitomises the type and quality of a new cadre that the ANC seeks to build. Comrade Joyce Kgoali always stood out as a field worker, an organiser and the leader of our liberation movement. This is the role she has shown at her last public appearance during the visit to the province of KwaZulu-Natal. We shall always remember her as a visionary who was taking the NCOP, as the House of Parliament, to new heights through Vision 2009.

Comrade Lesawana Joyce Kgoali understood that the revolution is not about polemics in library armchairs, but rather a process that needs action to make a profound impact on the material conditions of the lives of our people. It is this quality alone that distinguished Comrade Kgoali as a leader of the ANC, as a mother of the nation and as one of the stalwarts of the ANC Women’s League.

Comrade Joyce Kgoali never feared to take action, even when many of us would be sceptical about the kind of line or the kind of march we needed to take - in most instances it would be under most difficult circumstances. Comrade Joyce Kgoali believed in action, and nothing else. She steered the NCOP at a time when some believed it was no longer relevant. Through her leadership, she turned the NCOP into the true People’s Parliament that Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani and many others have died for.

We will miss her for her steadfastness of principle and humility that defied the logic of a dogma. Hamba Kahle, Comrade Joyce! [Go well, Comrade Joyce!] Robala ka khotso! [Rest in peace!] We will remember you, our fallen combatant! I thank you.

Mr A WATSON: Madam Speaker, hon members, the family of the deceased Joyce Kgoali, ladies and gentlemen, today, exactly two weeks ago, I stood by an open grave in Secunda in Mpumalanga. It was at the funeral of my departed dear friend, Albie Harmse, who passed away after many years of suffering. I was joined there by many of our colleagues, because the deceased was also a councillor and the DA caucus leader in the Govan Mbeki Local Municipality.

Looking around me on that sorrowful day, I noticed how sad and touched most people were - all of us who were his friends and colleagues. There, at the head of the grave were the immediate family – his wife and his children together with his father, his brother and other members of their family. They were so overcome with heartbreak and sadness that they were virtually unaware of those around them.

Today we are gathered here to honour the memory of a colleague who, in life, was a very senior official of this revered establishment, Parliament. Unfortunately I, along with most of my DA colleagues in the NCOP, did not know our departed Council Chairperson very well, but when I think back of my own feelings at the grave of my friend, I can understand and share the all-round sadness of her colleagues, particularly of those in the ANC and its structures.

We did, however, get to know the hon Joyce Kgoali as a hard task master, absolutely dedicated to her work and very strict as a chairperson, not only of the NCOP itself, but also in the ancillary committees that were chaired by her.

We also know that she was very concerned about the plight of the disadvantaged, and adamant that the NCOP should play a leading role in ensuring that poverty relief is adequately addressed by means of service delivery and job creation. Her drive in this regard was very evident in terms of the increased oversight role of the NCOP and indications that efforts would be speeded up even more in the years to come.

However, Madam Speaker, if we as colleagues and those of you who counted yourselves as her close friends, are saddened by her sudden departure, how much more grief-stricken must her family be? If I think back again to my experience of two weeks ago where death was the culmination of years of suffering, I realise that the family and the loved ones of Joyce Kgoali were suddenly and unexpectedly deprived of one as close as only a mother can be. I realise that her husband will never be able to share his thoughts with his life partner again. I realise that her two sons will never be able to embrace their mother again and I realise that an extended family have lost a mother and a sister forever.

Whilst it is, therefore, my wish that all her friends and colleagues find comfort in these times of sadness, it is particularly those closest to the hon Joyce Kgoali that I think of today. My wish and the wish of the DA is that they find comfort in her memory and in the knowledge that so many others share their great loss with them. We pray that they will be strengthened by the promise that the Almighty Father will be with them and that His all-encompassing love knows no end and heals all the wounds. Tsamaya hantle, hon Joyce! [Go well, hon Joyce!]. I thank you.

Mr M B SKOSANA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Hon Ministers who are here, hon members of the NCOP and the National Assembly, friends and colleagues, somebody once wisely said: The moving finger writes, and having written, it moves on.

Today we speak of Joyce Lesawana Kgoali, who, I believe, has woven with her life a tapestry of the struggle of the African people in this country. She has now, sadly, moved on, leaving behind memories precious to some and enigmatic to others.

Since Joyce Kgoali’s sudden and shocking death last Sunday, many tributes have been offered and written throughout the country, bearing testimony to her selfless commitment to the political and economic emancipation of her people. In particular, hers was a dedicated fight for the rights and freedoms of workers and women, thus distinguishing her from those who brought about these conditions on her people.

I must say, friends, that her journey to her last destination, that of Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, has been a long and arduous one.

Now that Joyce Kgoali is no more, what words do we say to beautify the lost and earthly companionship we cherished with her and to make Joyce stay among the present gods and angels? The IFP prefers an extract from a poem written by Alan Paton in 1970 and published in the New York Times in 1971, titled Flowers for the Departed. It goes like this, in my own words:

Joyce Kgoali, for you this flower, desert-born in distant land, suddenly, in rain, miraculous, flamed into life and lit with orange fire, the arid plain. So may your seed return untimely to the earth, bring back the beauty to your desert land.

The life and struggle of Joyce Lesawana Kgoali, I believe, should also embrace, in consciousness, the spirit of many thousands of the fallen unsung African women, many of whose graves are unmarked. This should keep on reminding us that they have sacrificed their lives, chipping away at the unjust laws in their multiple obscure ways.

Loretta Ngcobo, in a novel titled And They Did Not Die, looks at the discomfort of white authorities at the assertion of women in the 1950s. One official says of the defiant African women, and I quote:

These women, this strange breed of womanhood, thin and ragged and not like women at all - they think they rule the world, they spill men’s beers, they herd cattle, they plough fields, they run this community. That’s what it is, that’s why this defiance – they’ve lost respect for manhood, for all authority, but they haven’t got the sense to do it properly. In the absence of their husbands they’ve lost the need for men, if nobody stops them, they’re going to ruin this country. In spite of what others think, it is these women we have got to deal with, not those far away men in the cities.

Now this is the type of attitude, the attitude of officials, that Joyce also had to deal with throughout her life.

The IFP then says to Ntate Simelane, her husband, their sons, Sekgalo, Moeketsi, Thabiso and Tsidiso, to the ANC and the people of South Africa, that like many heroines, daughters of the soil who went before Joyce Kgoali, she did not die. May her soul rest in peace. Thank you.

Mrs A N D QIKANI: Madam Speaker, Ministers who are here today and hon members, firstly allow me, on behalf of the UDM, to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late hon Joyce Kgoali.

Hon Speaker, though we cannot take away the pain that we are feeling right now, today we can stand in solidarity with you and remember her contribution to this institution and to our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of bereavement. We hope that we’ll be able to draw consolation from today’s proceedings, a fitting tribute to a woman who touched the lives of many.

Only last week the NCOP concluded its business for the year and we took leave of one another. Many of us have returned to our families or are on the verge of doing so. It comes, therefore, as a shock to learn that our farewell to the hon Kgoali was a permanent one. Our hearts go out to her family who, unlike ours, will not get the opportunity to spend a well- deserved time with a person who has dedicated the largest portion of her time to the service of the public.

During my farewell speech in the NCOP last week, I spoke of the relevance of the NCOP to Parliament and participatory democracy. I referred specifically to the vital tasks that we need to attend to. Among other things, I said that the relevance of this House to participatory democracy has often been questioned and that it is our duty to prove the relevance of our work.

Firstly, I said that we must remain vigilant in our consideration of Bills referred by the National Assembly. Secondly, we must extend our ability to represent the needs and aspirations of the provinces that we represent here. Thirdly, we should not hesitate to exercise our oversight role with regard to the executive.

In addition to all of these important duties, we have barely begun to deepen the level of public participation in our activities. I raised these points, aware that the late Chairperson of the NCOP was herself determined to address the relevance and performance of this institution. We were all aware of her intention in this regard, and I sincerely hope that whoever picks up the mantle will pursue these goals with equal vigour and enthusiasm.

The NCOP only recently returned from provincial visits in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. During this time of taking Parliament to the people, the late hon Kgoali actively demonstrated her commitment to enhancing the relevance of the NCOP for the sake of the people of South Africa.

Having witnessed firsthand her energy during these provincial visits, I was truly shocked to learn the news of her passing away. She was still so young and so full of life. Nevertheless, as many have testified here today, she had a full and productive life, spent largely in service of others.

She will be remembered for her dedication to duties and her party. She was a committed democrat.

Kubantu bonke abakhoyo apha, ngakumbi kumakhosikazi ombutho wakhe nakwibandla lonke lamakhosikazi, singamakhosikazi e-UDM, sithi: NguThixo onikayo, ikwanguye nothathayo. Akukho namnye oya kuma phambi kwakhe, koko igama likaYehova malidunyiswe. Enkosi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[As the women’s section of the UDM, we say to everybody present here, to the ANC Women’s League specifically and to women in general, the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken. No one can stand in His way. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Thank you.]

Mr A HARDING: Madam Speaker and hon members, it is with deep sadness and regret that the ID received the news of the passing away of the hon Joyce Kgoali.

We remember her as a hardworking and strong-minded person. She had a strong personality and was diligent in the performance of all her responsibilities. Despite her strength of character, I found that she had an unspoken gentleness about her. What stands out in my mind is her boundless energy.

She would be here at Parliament in time for meetings, irrespective of how early in the morning or how late at night those meetings were held. In this area she was indeed exemplary to us all.

Following the national election this year, Ms Kgoali was appointed as Chairperson to the National Council of Provinces. She was determined to take the NCOP to new heights through her leading the process of adopting the vision of the House called Vision 2009.

She will indeed be remembered as hardworking, determined and a passionate political leader. She was an asset to Parliament and the ANC. Her contribution to the democratisation of this country is indelibly imprinted in the national memory of this nation. She has achieved this revered status through her work in the trade union movement during the dark days of apartheid.

The ID expresses its admiration and reverence for this remarkable woman. The leadership of the ID conveys their collective condolences to the family, especially to her husband who has lost a wife and her four sons who have lost their mother.

In closing, I would also like to apologise for the fact that the hon De Lille is not here today to deliver this tribute, because she had to honour a long-standing appointment. I thank you.

Mr K SINCLAIR: Hon Speaker, members and most importantly the husband, children and family of the late Joyce Kgoali, when we say goodbye to someone, we assume that we might see each other again.

The last time I said goodbye to the hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Joyce Kgoali, I assumed the above. I was wrong. Our friend, colleague and comrade has moved on.

Today we pay tribute to a fighter, a liberator, a woman and a person who stood strong for what she believed was right. I, on behalf of the New National Party, want to convey our sincere condolences to her husband, her children, her family and her political home, the ANC.

We want to honour her for the role that she played in putting the NCOP on the map. She was instrumental in creating the NCOP’s vision, Vision 2009. This was to make the institution a more effective and efficient instrument of oversight.

Agb Speaker, ter afsluiting van die huldeblyk, hou ek ‘n gedig voor van Claryné Freeman-Barends van Upington, uit haar bundel Ashoopkind: Sy noem dit, “So sal ek jou onthou.” [Hon Speaker, in conclusion to this tribute, I would like to present a poem by Claryné Freeman-Barends from Upington, from her volume Ashoopkind. She calls it “So sal ek jou onthou.”

God het geoes vir sy smeltkroes warmte uit jou gevloei het ons harte laat bloei sagtheid van die hart deur sware smart skaduweeboom van rus het menigte sorge weggekus toonbeeld van godskind was altyd by jou te vind so sal ek jou onthou die herinneringe aan jou sal ek koester, dra en vertroetel.

Hon Speaker, the memories of the late Joyce Kgoali will certainly be remembered by this Parliament. We salute her. I thank you.

Mr L M GREEN: Madam Speaker, hon Ministers, members, family, friends and loved ones of the hon late Joyce Kgoali, it is with shock and great sadness that we learnt of the untimely death of the hon Kgoali, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces.

The ACDP wants to pay tribute to the hon Kgoali. She was a great asset to Parliament and will be sorely missed by all MPs and the entire staff of this institution.

She was a strong woman, a great leader, a visionary and a hard worker. She has given her life to fighting for the rights and freedoms of all South Africans and had worked very hard at bringing Parliament closer to the people. Her most outstanding contribution was what she did for the poor and the destitute. She has served the cause of freedom and democracy with loyalty, commitment and enthusiasm.

What the hon Joyce Kgoali has taught us is that we must work hard and selflessly to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate and those who are desperately poor and needy. We must work while we have the time and energy, because we do not know the day or the hour when our journey on this earth comes to an end, and when we have to appear before our Maker to give an account of what we have done with our lives.

The hon Kgoali has used her full potential and all her talents to improve the living conditions of those who are destitute and needy. Her selfless life will speak volumes to generations yet to come. Her selfless life will be a shining example to those who are left behind.

The ACDP wishes to convey its most sincere condolences to the husband, children, and family and loved ones of the hon Joyce Kgoali, as well as the friends and colleagues she worked with both at Parliament and in the ANC. In a time such as this, when we experience the death of a colleague, we do not have the words to express our sorrow, but the Lord himself consoles us with his Word.

Let me console the family and loved ones with the Scripture in closing from the Book of Romans, Chapter 8. I quote from the Living Bible.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later, for all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect His children. For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death and decay, the things that overcame the world against its will at God’s command will all disappear and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin, which God’s children enjoy.

For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event. Even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us, have a foretaste of future glory also grown to be released from pain and suffering. We too wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as His children, including the new bodies he has promised us – bodies that will never be sick again and will never die.

May the soul of Joyce Kgoali rest in peace. I thank you.

Dr F J VAN HEERDEN: Mevrou die Speaker, namens die Vryheidsfront Plus, die volgende: Die VF Plus se benadering teenoor persone in ‘n gesagsposisie is tweeledig; in die eerste plek, gehoorsaamheid, en in die tweede plek, respek teenoor persone in gesagsposisies. En dan verder, ja, om te kritiseer, om tereg te wys wanneer dit nodig is - as, en wanneer dit nodig is - én om saam te werk wanneer dit nodig is.

Die VF Plus is tans een van die kleiner politieke partye, maar het reeds een lid in die NRVP, en dit is in dié hoedanigheid wat ek graag wil hulde bring aan wyle Mev Kgoali. Ek het reeds verwys na die VF Plus se benadering, te wete gehoorsaamheid, enersyds, en andersyds ‘n kwessie van respek. Dit verg dikwels groot selfbeheersing en soms ook tandekners om aan hierdie benadering uitvoering te gee. Sekere persone in posisies van gesag maak die navolging hiervan soms moeilik – uiters moeilik – en andere weer maak dit maklik en meer hanteerbaar, en in dié laasgenoemde geval wil ek graag Mev Kgoali, wyle Mev Kgoali, klassifiseer.

Die VF Plus het haar beleef as ‘n persoon in ‘n posisie van gesag, wat ferm en beslis, sonder om dominerend te wees, opgetree het teenoor ons party, soos ek haar waargeneem het, en ook teenoor ander partye. Sy was altyd hoflik en het geluister na ander se sienings en menings. Sy het menings gewissel en ‘n vrywillige oor gehad om ook na ander standpunte te luister.

Dis eweneens my waarneming dat sy graag die NRVP sou wou vestig as ‘n Raad van die Parlement met ‘n eiesoortige karakter, ‘n doeltreffende, waardige eie karakter en identiteit. Dít sou sy nie beleef nie, maar die grondslag, die wegwysers, die roetes is reeds deur wyle Mev Kgoali gelê. Sy het enersyds statuur en waardigheid aan die NRVP verleen en andersyds aan die posisie van voorsitter, wat navolgingswaardig is vir wie ook al haar mag opvolg. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Dr F J VAN HEERDEN: Madam Speaker, I would like to say the following on behalf of the the FF Plus: The approach of the FF Plus to people in positions of authority is twofold; in the first place, obedience; and in the second place, respect for people in positions of authority. Then further, yes, to criticise to indicate the correct way when necessary – as and when it is required – and to co-operate when it is necessary.

The FF Plus is currently one of the smaller political parties, but already has one member in the NCOP and it is in this capacity that I would like to pay tribute to the late Mrs Kgoali. I have already referred to the approach of the FF Plus, namely obedience on the one hand, and the issue of respect on the other. If often requires great self-control and sometimes also gritting one’s teeth to execute this approach. Certain people in positions of authority sometimes make this difficult – extremely difficult – and others make it easy and more manageable, and I would like to classify the late Mrs Kgoali in this last category.

The FF Plus experienced her as a person in a position of authority who behaved towards our party, and other parties as well, in a manner that was firm and resolute, without being domineering, by my observation. She was always courteous and listened to the views and opinions of others. She would exchange views and was prepared to listen to other points of view as well.

It is my observation that she would have liked to establish the NCOP as a House of Parliament with a unique character, an effective, dignified character and identity. She was not to experience that, but the foundations, the signposts, the routes, have already been established by the late Mrs Kgoali. She lent stature and dignity to the NCOP on the one hand, and to the position of chairperson on the other, which is worth emulating by whoever may succeed her.]

Madam Speaker, it is always sad to lose a loved one, and more so in these days approaching Christmas. This is a time of the year when families, friends and relatives get together to cherish and strengthen ties of friendship and families. Mrs Kgoali’s place in the future is going to be empty in these circles.

The FF Plus prays that her relatives, friends, colleagues in the ANC, and also us in the other parties will be comforted by pleasant memories about her. I thank you. Mr P H K DITSHETELO: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Hon members, it was with the greatest sense of shock that we heard of the untimely death of Ma Joyce, as she was affectionately called by her colleagues and comrades. Her sudden departure to higher service has robbed us of a true friend and loving mother.

May I indicate how Mr Tlhagale remembers her:

  Our recent Parliamentary programme to KwaZulu-Natal was very strenuous
  to us all, but it was more strenuous to her as the pilot who had to
  steer the ship in the tempestuous waters of the ocean. Mrs Kgoali was
  a very respectful lady, and she always addressed me as Ntate [Mr]
  Tlhagale. That in itself is not only honourable to the person who is
  addressed as such, but it is more honourable to the person who uses
  that qualificative.

The late Mrs Kgoali was an energetic hard worker and a kind person; somebody with a likeable disposition.

Ba ga Khoali le ba ga Simelane, lalang ka ntho madi a tshologa, lo di gamuketse botlhoko, di tlaa fola. Morwadialona, ngwetsi ya lona edirile tse e neng e tshwanelwa ke go di dira. O di weditse ka matsetseleko le ka motsotso o o neng o tshwanela. Ka nako e o tshwanelwa ke ditebogo le kgalaletso.

Tatlhegelo ya lona, le le Ma-ANC, ke tatlhegelo ya rona botlhe fela mo Aforika Borwa. Mme yo o ne a dira go tokafatsa matshelo a batho. O ne a dira, a direla batho. Modimo o tlaa lo fa motho yo o tlaa tlatsang phatlatiro e e tlhodilweng ke loso lwa Mme Joyce.

Modimo o ne o re adimile senatla, o re adimile palesa go ikgabisa ka yona. E ne e tshwanetse go nna jalo. Mogale yo o neng a na le maikaelelo o robetse. A re lebogeng Modimo ka mpho e e dirileng gore re itsewe lefatshe lotlhe. Modimo o ne a neile, mme gape o tshotse. A go bakwe leina la gagwe.

Bagaetsho, re tshwanetse go gakologelwa gore Modimo o ne o file Mme Khoali sebakanyana mo lefatsheng le, mme o se dirisitse ka botswapelo. Go setse rona. A re mo tlogeleng a robale ka kagiso. (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)

[The Kgoali and Simelane families, you feel the pain, be strong. You, daughter daughter-in–law, did what she was supposed to do. She did it appropriately and at the right moment. At this time you deserve to be thanked and praised.

Your loss, as the ANC, is a loss to all of us in South Africa. She worked for the people and to better their lives. God will give you someone to fill in the vacancy caused by Mrs Joyce’s death.

God has given us a heroine, a flower to beautify us. It was meant to be like that; a committed heroine is now being laid to rest. Let us thank God for the gift, which made us well known in the whole world. God has given to us, and he has taken away from us again. Let His name be praised.

Countrymen, we must remember that God has given Mrs Kgoali an opportunity to live in this world, and she has used it wholeheartedly. We are the ones who are left behind. Let her rest in peace.]

The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker, you know full well that I am not very good at speaking on such occasions. I could not speak at the funeral of my own mother, and so I hope I will execute my duty as I should.

It is with great sadness that we gather here this afternoon. This is the first ceremony of this type in our democratic Parliament. We have come to mourn one of our presiding officers, the hon Joyce Kgoali. We have also come to pay tribute to her invaluable contribution to the liberation of our people, and of women in particular.

Comrade Joyce was born into the working class, and although she came to occupy one of the highest offices in our country she never cut herself off from her roots. From those humble roots grew the driving force of a dream to be part of the liberation of her people, a dream that was so cruelly cut short a few ago.

Comrade Joyce, I am duty-bound and compelled to execute this parliamentary duty, within it I must express our deepest condolences to your family, your friends and your dear comrades. We sympathise with them all on this day of lament, yet, strangely, also a day of celebration for a life well lived.

Dear family, friends and comrades, Sis Joyce leaves a huge vacuum in the National Council of Provinces. She will be sorely missed. She was dearly loved, admired and appreciated for her sterling role in the struggle against apartheid, but more dearly remembered and renowned for her struggles for the rights of workers and for the full emancipation of women.

She has passed on while occupying one of the highest offices in our land. As presiding officer of one of the Houses of Parliament, she was a firm reflection of commitment to and activity for the strengthening of those aspects of Parliament that work for building and sustaining our infant democracy.

It will not be fair to speak of Comrade Joyce only in abstract terms, in terms of principle, or in terms of historical biography. A personal note is required for such a worthy comrade, for she was, and in having been, she is.

We spent many hours together.

Re ne re tlotla ka Setswana le ka Sesotho. Re ne re utlwana, re ipitsa ditsala. Re bua tsa tiro, tsa losika le tsa metshameko. Botsala jwa tlotlo le botsala jwa kutlwano. [We spoke in Setswana and Sesotho. We were close and regarded each other as friends. We talked about work, family and sports. It was a friendship of mutual respect and understanding.]

She was a hard worker, and believed we must make Parliament function for the people. I spoke to her a few weeks before the sitting of the National Council of Provinces in KwaZulu-Natal. I asked:

“Modulasetulo, a le tla e kgona tiro e? Ke tiro e tona. Le sa ntse le le bašwa.” [Chairperson, will you manage this task? It is a massive task. You are still new.] And she firmly replied: “Re tla e kgona. Ke tiro e re e direlang batho ba rona. Re tla e kgona.” [We will manage. We are doing this for our people. We will manage.] And indeed, she pulled it off.

She was also a straight talker. In a meeting with human rights workers in Romania last year, she kept asking about the rights of workers. Our hosts kept trying to change the topic, but she politely kept on asking, and eventually got her reply.

She was humble. She shared with me that she was initially daunted at her election as Chairperson of the NCOP. She then said in Setswana: “Ke ne ka emelela. Ka phimola dikeledi. Ka emelela ka dira tiro ya aforika Borwa.” [I then stood up. I wiped off my tears. I stood up and worked for South Africa.] I had no doubt in my own mind that she was up to the task.

Many activists give up activism when appointed or elected to high office. When she learnt I was to be in education, she called and said:

Tsala, [Friend . . .] you have a school in my constituency. It is named after you. Visit it. Get it right. We are worried about it. I did exactly what she said, because she was that straight talker. It was an instruction from my Chairperson. I found, when I got to the school and the community, that she did her constituency work regularly. The community knew her, and told many stories about her interventions in the community. Our party, the ANC, has lost a sterling cadre. Women have lost in this month of activism in support of a violence and abuse-free society and world.

To her family, be comforted and be strengthened by her example. Always remember where her eyes were cast. She was proud of her family and committed to our country.

To the ANC, pick up the spear; it is a heavy one, carried by a person of weight and courage. Wield it with honour, as she did. To Parliament, build on the democratic design and plan she had begun executing. Be true to the people of South Africa. Serve them as she did.

Robala ka kgotso mme, Comrade Joyce, tsala. Re e tshwere tiro ya gago. [Rest in peace, Madam. Comrade Joyce, friend. We are continuing with what you started.] “Lala ngoxolo, Qabane wethu.” [Rest in peace, Comrade.]

The SPEAKER: Hon members, I made my own remarks at the memorial service earlier on, so I will be very brief from the Chair.

I have lost a colleague whom I met every week for the past seven months since we were appointed, because every day there was so much that we had to consult about in the interest of the functioning of an institution we were in charge of together for the first time after the elections.

She was a very strong leader, as everybody has said and as everybody knew her. However, you will be surprised how reluctant she was and, in fact, I will never forget the expression on her face, both when she was appointed chairperson of the ANC caucus and when earlier she was appointed Chairperson of the NCOP. She did not take anything for granted, and so you can imagine that quality of person who is such a good leader but does not go around promoting herself as such. In fact, I believe that in such a person there is a lot of integrity, and that is the kind of person that we have lost.

As the Minister of Education has said, when she was appointed Chairperson of the NCOP, she literally cried and said: No, what am I expected to do with the NCOP? I remember saying to her: In fact, you will do very well and, as we have all heard, she did excellently in giving it leadership. We really have lost a worthy South African.

I would now like to request members to rise and observe a moment of silence in honour of her life. Thank you. Please be seated. Hon members, a special copy of members’ contributions today will be sent to the family to convey the sentiments conveyed by Parliament.

What now remains is for me to thank the choirs and the religious leaders for their participation. I thank all the hon members who came from the length and breadth of the country at short notice. We really appreciate your response. I thank the members of the media and all staff for their role in organising both the official memorial service and this special joint sitting at short notice, also.

That concludes the business of this sitting, and may I remind hon members of the NCOP to meet briefly in the Chamber of the NCOP immediately after the adjournment of this sitting.

Hon members must wait for the procession and remain seated while the procession leaves the House.

The House adjourned at 15:15.