National Assembly - 14 April 2010



The House met at 14.01.

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

                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Mr S C MOTAU: Mr Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move the following motion on behalf of the DA:

That the House-

  1) debates the appropriateness of Chancellor House holding shares in
     Hitachi Power Africa, a company involved in the building of Medupi
     power station; and

  2) discusses measures by which political parties can be prevented
     from tendering and contracting with government at all levels.

Mr A LOUW: Mr Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move the following motion on behalf of the DA:

That the House —

    1) debates the rate at which the Commissioner for Occupational
       Injuries and Diseases has processed claims by workers in recent
       years; and

    2) comes up with measures through which the backlog can be dealt
       with and injured workers receive compensation more swiftly.

Mr S J F MARAIS: Mr Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move the following motion on behalf of the DA:

That the House-

    1) debates the recent performance of the National Lottery
       Distribution Trust Fund in paying out only 30% of available
       funds to beneficiaries in the 2009-10 financial year; and

    2) comes up with measures by which the fund’s performance can be
       improved and its officials held to account for their

                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House-

 1) notes with profound sadness the untimely death of the Polish
    president Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, as well as 95 others
    in a plane crash in Western Russia on Saturday, 10 April 2010;

 2) recalls that Kaczynski, his wife and a Polish delegation, including
    the Head of the Reserve Bank, the Army Chief and the Deputy
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, were travelling to Russia for the 70th
    anniversary of the Soviet massacre of Polish army officers in the
    village of Katyn when their plane crashed at Smolensk Airport as it
    tried to land in heavy fog; and

 3) conveys its deepest sympathy to the people of Poland, and its
    prayers and thoughts go out to the Polish nation during their time
    of mourning.

Agreed to.

                          WORLD MALARIA DAY

                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr N SINGH: Mr Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House-

(1) notes that African Malaria Control Day is annually commemorated on 25 April and that during its 60th session in 2007, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation made a call to change this to World Malaria Day, as it is now known;

(2)     further notes that although malaria is treatable and
    preventable, it threatens the lives of more than 2 billion people

 3) acknowledges that malaria is a serious social, economic and
    developmental problem that affects individuals, families,
    communities and countries;

 (4)    further acknowledges that notwithstanding the deaths and
      sufferings caused by malaria, progress has been made, with
      African countries having committed themselves to providing prompt
      and effective treatment and insecticide-treated nets for 60% of
      the people at high risk of malaria and intermittent preventative
      treatment for 60% of pregnant women; and

(5)     calls on all stakeholders, not only those responsible for
      control and research but also other areas of government such as
      agriculture, transport and education, to collaborate and come up
      with new, innovative and practical ways of improving malaria
      research training in Africa, which could lead to more effective
      treatment of this disease.

Agreed to.

                        MOTION OF CONDOLENCE

                     (The late Dr P M Sefularo)

The SPEAKER: Hon members, we have come to the motion on the Order Paper in the name of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party. Before I recognise the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I would like to recognise the family of the late Dr Sefularo, who are seated in the gallery. I bid you a warm welcome.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

That the House-

  1) notes with deep sadness that on 5 April 2010, the hon Dr Molefi
     Sefularo passed away, and that his untimely death was caused by a
     car accident;

  2) recognises that Comrade Sefularo distinguished himself as a
     disciplined cadre of the African National Congress (ANC), served
     the ruling party with distinction in his various deployments and,
     without fail, always put the interests of the ANC and the people of
     South Africa first;

  3) further recognises that Comrade Sefularo’s contribution to the
     struggle dates back to the 1970s, where he was one of the founder
     members of the Azanian Students’ Organisation in Potchefstroom, a
     forerunner of the South African Students’ Congress;

  4) remembers that Comrade Sefularo served as a Member of the North
     West Provincial Legislature from 1994-2004 and also as Deputy
     Chairperson of the ANC in North West, and that, as a former member
     of the executive council, he was responsible for the Reconstruction
     and Development Programme, Transformation, Governance and
     Administration, Health, Social Development, Broadcasting and

  5) further remembers that he served as a Member of Parliament in the
     National Assembly from 2004, was deployed to serve on various
     parliamentary committees, including Trade and Industry, Transport,
     Foreign Affairs and Health, and, as part of the ANC caucus, served
     as Whip for the Caucus Strategy Committee and as Whip in the
     Economics cluster;

  6) recalls that the Deputy Minister of Health –

      a) was a distinguished leader in his community, academia and

      b) obtained an MB ChB degree at Medunsa and a Masters of Business
         Administration from the Graduate School of Business at UCT;

      c) received various postgraduate diplomas in Tropical Medicine and
         Hygiene, Public Health and Health Service Management from Wits,
         and completed a Health Sector Transformation Primary Health
         Care Programme from the Institute for Development Studies at
         the Sussex University in England; and

      d) also completed resident courses in health care management,
         executive leadership and international trade at Harvard
         University in the United States;

  7) acknowledges that through his capable leadership, a National Health
     Operations Centre is being established to coordinate all health
     care activities in the nine provinces for the duration of the 2010
     World Cup and beyond, which will ensure a lasting legacy that will
     enable the Department of Health to better coordinate and command
     future events and incidents;

  8) further acknowledges the contribution that he made to policy
     formulation on HIV/Aids, the H1N1 flu virus, tuberculosis and many
     other areas; and

  9) conveys its heartfelt condolences to his wife Kgomotso, their four
     children, grandchild, family, friends and comrades in the African
     National Congress, the Alliance and the communities he served.

Mr M WATERS: Speaker, it was with great shock that I heard of the tragic death of Dr Sefularo. On behalf of the DA, we send our condolences to his family in the gallery, to his friends, to his colleagues and to the ANC.

Dr Sefularo had a long and proud political history. In 1979, he helped found the Azanian Students’ Organisation and was elected as its secretary in 1981. Dr Sefularo was also an active United Democratic Front, UDF, member from 1983 until its banning. He also served in many capacities within the ANC.

In 1994 he was also appointed as the MEC for health in the North West province, a position he held until 2004. On 25 September 2008, Dr Sefularo was appointed the Deputy Minister of Health, a position that had been vacant since August 2007 when the previous Deputy Minister, Ms Madlala- Routledge, was dismissed.

Dr Sefularo was one of a new generation of leaders in the health portfolio, along with the then Minister, Ms Hogan, and the current Minister, Dr Motsoaledi, who have reinstated science at the centre of the campaign to tackle HIV and Aids and scuttled the remains of the Aids dissidents. To a large degree because of his work, South Africa now has a detailed, credible and practical plan for preventing and treating Aids infections.

A national drive encouraging prevention and testing is to be launched soon, and all of us have been encouraged to be publicly tested and, by doing so, we will be contributing to destigmatising the disease. Dr Sefularo understood this and it is through his hard work, foresight and determination, along with that of the Minister of Health, that this campaign has had the backing of Cabinet. It is, however, regrettable that Dr Sefularo will not see the fruits of his hard work.

In order to honour the memory of Dr Sefularo, we, as public representatives, should all ensure that the prevention and testing campaign is a great success. Go well, Dr Sefularo! Hamba kahle! I thank you. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: I thank the hon member. I now invite Mr D A Kganare to address the House.

Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Speaker, could you please let the next speaker convey his message. I’m just trying to locate Mr Kganare.

Mr K M ZONDI: Hon Speaker, the news of the sudden death of the hon Dr Molefi Sefularo, the former Deputy Minister of Health, was received by us in the IFP with much shock, resentment and anguish, especially because it snatched from our midst one of the most dedicated sons of our country, South Africa, in the prime of his life.

The IFP has had opportunity to work with Dr Sefularo in Parliament and in government, and has great respect for his skills and leadership. So his tragic death is a loss to us all.

Dr Sefularo was an accomplished scholar and a dedicated servant of our nation, who always had the best interests of the people of South Africa at heart.

We also pay tribute to the outstanding work he did in leading the fight against HIV and Aids in South Africa. We are aware that during his tenure as the MEC for health in North West and during the current term as the Deputy Minister of Health, he was known for his passion, drive and dedication in improving South Africa’s ailing health system and curbing the spread of HIV and Aids.

Away from the corridors of Parliament and government, Dr Sefularo was a man that was well liked by many. He was admired within the community for the work he did to raise the standard of living of ordinary members of the community and, in particular, for his efforts to encourage the youth to acquire education so that they could thereby equip themselves better to serve the community and the nation.

The IFP extends its deepest condolences, sympathy and support to the Sefularo family, to his colleagues and friends and to members of the ANC. May God give them strength and consolation at this difficult time. We pray that God gives him eternal rest and that light perpetual shines upon him. I thank you.

Mr J J McGLUWA: Hon Speaker, the ID would like to express its deepest sadness over the tragic passing of the late Dr Sefularo. Coming from the same province as the Deputy Minister, I knew him very well when he was practising as a doctor at the Thusong Hospital in Mafikeng in North West. When he became the MEC for health, Dr Sefularo remained a very humble and gentle person.

During the memorial service yesterday, it was evident that his family shares the late doctor’s humility. He was always smiling, willing to help, patient and very polite. Dr Sefularo’s contribution to the National Health Insurance Scheme, which the ID wholeheartedly supports, was invaluable. We thank him and his family for giving us so much of his time.

Perhaps the best way that we as a country can remember him is by adopting the same kind of determination he showed in ensuring that the National Health Insurance Scheme was implemented in such a way that the gross inequalities in our health care system were overcome.

Dr Sefularo was a loyal cadre for democracy whom we shall all miss dearly. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mna N M KGANYAGO: Mna Spikara, maloko a Palamente le ba lapa la mohu Ngaka Molefi Sefularo, ke tshepa gore le a tseba le lena gore ka Sesotho ge motho a lla, ga a beelwe metsotso, le tla ntumelela go bolela go feta motsotso o tee.

Rena baswa ba mo re re mahloko go ba lapa la mohu Ngaka Molefi Sefularo le mokgatlo wa dipolotiki wo a bego a le ka go ona. Mohu Ngaka Molefi Sefularo e be ele monna wa banna ka botlalo. Ka gore realo, go ra gore e be e le motho yo a ikgafileng ka botlalo medirong ya gagwe ya tša maphelo. Bopaki e bile bjo bontši bjo bogolo go tlala seatla dikuranteng, dithelebišeneng le moyeng go šupa ka fao lefase le mo tsebago ka gona.

Mohu e be ele motho wa go se ikgogomoše ka ge e be e le ngaka le maemo ao a bego a le go ona. Ge a kopana le wena o be a go dumediša ka lethabo. Ka mehla ge a feta kgauswi le fao ke dulago gona ka mo Palamenteng, o be a emiša seatla e le sešupo sa tumedišo. Ke dula kua khoneng yela.

Re lahlagetšwe ke senatla sa dinatla, monna wa go hloka makoko le go se emiše nko le magetla go mang le mang yo a bego a kopana le yena. Bjale ka ge re tseba, go ba bantši, makoko ke selo seo ba sepelago le sona. Bjale Sefularo o be a se ka mokgwa o mo bjalo.

Re re robala ka khutšo morwa Sefularo. (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)

[Mr N M KGANYAGO: Hon Speaker, hon members and family members of the late Dr Molefi Sefularo, I believe you all know that according to Basotho culture there is no time limit for mourning and you will therefore have to allow me to speak for more than one minute.

The youth is conveying their condolences to the family of the late Dr Molefi Sefularo and the political party he belonged to. The late Dr Molefi Sefularo was dedicated and committed to his work in the Department of Health. He was known worldwide for his dedication and commitment to his work and that was confirmed in the newspapers, television and other forms of the media.

He remained a humble person even in his position as the Deputy Minister of Health and as a doctor. He greeted each and every person he came across with a smile. He always used to wave at me when he walked past my seat in the House. I sit close to that corner.

We have lost a man of great humility. We all know that many people are puffed up with pride, but the late Dr Molefi Sefularo was not that kind of person.

May his soul rest in peace.]

Sy heengaan word deur almal betreur. Ek dank u. [His passing is mourned by all. I thank you.] [Applause.] Dr P W A MULDER: Speaker, namens die VF Plus bring ek graag hulde aan dr Sefularo. Ek het hom leer ken in die Parlement en ook in Potchefstroom in Noordwes, waarvandaan hy en ek kom. Ek het hom ook as Adjunkminister goed geken.

As ’n mens na sy curriculum vitae kyk, is dit indrukwekkend. Hy was uitnemend bekwaam in verskillende velde, nie net medies nie, maar ook na die ander kant toe. Dit het hom uitermate geskik gemaak vir die werk waarmee hy besig was.

Waar ek met hom betrokke was, het ek hom as persoon nederig ervaar. Ek het hom aangenaam, maar ook doelgerig gevind. Hy het geweet waarheen hy wil gaan en hy het geweet wat hy wil doen.

Dit is nie nou die debat oor die gesondheidsdienste in Suid-Afrika nie, maar die gesondheidsdienste in Suid-Afrika het groot probleme. Ek het geglo dat hy die regte persoon op die regte tydstip was om met sy kundigheid en sy ervaring te help om juis hierdie probleme aan te spreek. Dit maak die verlies vir die ANC soveel groter op hierdie tydstip.

Polities is hy baie jonk en dis nie die regte tyd om weggeneem te word nie, maar daaroor het ons nie beheer gehad nie. Ek wil graag, namens die VF Plus, ons opregte simpatie uitspreek teenoor sy familie. Mag daar troos vir hulle toegebid word. Baie dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.) [Dr P W A MULDER: Speaker, on behalf of the FF Plus I would like to pay tribute to Dr Sefularo. I got to know him in Parliament and also in Potchefstroom in North West from where we both hail. I also knew him well as Deputy Minister.

When one looks at his curriculum vitae, it’s impressive. He was exceptionally competent in various fields, not only in medicine but also in other fields. This made him perfect for the work he was doing.

Whenever we worked together, I have experienced him as a humble person. I found him pleasant but also purposeful. He knew where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do.

This debate right now is not about South African health services, but health services in South Africa are faced with serious problems. I believed him to be the right person, at the right time, to contribute towards addressing these very problems with his expertise and experience. This is making the ANC’s loss so much greater at this point in time.

In a political sense, he was still very young, and it was not the right time for him to be taken away, but that is something we did not have any control over. On behalf of the FF Plus, I would like to convey our sincere condolences to his family. May they find comfort in our prayers. Thank you. [Applause.]] Rev K R J MESHOE: Mr Speaker, on behalf of the ACDP I wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family of Dr Molefi Sefularo, his friends, relatives, the ANC and the people he served with great passion. Dr Sefularo’s untimely death came as a great shock to us as his determination to see all South Africans have access to affordable, good quality health care gave us hope of a much improved and efficient health care system in our country.

His close working relationship with his colleague, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, made them a formidable team that believed that their vision and goals were achievable. His humility, diligent commitment and dedicated service to the people of this nation, particularly the poor, was remarkable.

During his funeral service that I attended in GaRankuwa, I was delighted, as a family man, to hear what the late Dr Sefularo’s family had to say about him. His children spoke about the love and care their father had for them and their mother. As I heard his wife refer to him as a friend, I concluded that the man we were paying our last respects to was no ordinary man, but a responsible man of principle who cared for his family. Our country needs more fathers who’ll love and care for their children and more husbands who’ll love their wives and be faithful to them.

In paying homage to the late Dr Sefularo, the hon Deputy President said: Above all, by his example, we see a leader who led behind the scenes and this explains the glowing tribute describing him as someone who worked tirelessly and selflessly, and was a competent and accessible Minister.

Our prayers are with the Sefularo family and we trust that the precious Holy Spirit will comfort and heal their broken hearts. Thank you.

Mrs I C DITSHETELO: Mr Speaker, the UCDP received the sad news of the death of the hon Deputy Minister of Health, Paul Molefi Sefularo, with great shock. The hon Sefularo was one of those rare individuals that served the government, both in the North West legislature as MEC for health and in the National Assembly as the Deputy Minister of Health, with dedication, loyalty and efficiency.

Molefi was a humble, kind-hearted man, who always served with a smile during hard and good times alike. He will always be remembered for his remarkable contribution to the nation. Rest in peace, hon Sefularo. The UCDP says good night. We shall meet tomorrow. Good night.

Bo Rra Sefularo go na le pina ya Setswana le Sesotho e e reng:

Seo o nkadimileng sona, ga o re ke se busetse, Ntate ke tla leka gore: “Ho lokile, ho lokile.” Re ga tshio tse di thata di kgaola ditshika tsaaka, le gona ke tla re: “Ho lokile, ho lokile.”

Ke a leboga. [Legofi.] (Translation of Setswana and Sesotho paragraph follows.)

[To the Sefularos, there’s a Sestwana and Sesotho song that goes:

Let me return what you had lent me, Father, I will try to say: “It is well, it is well.” Even when death cut off my family ties, I will keep on saying: “It is well, it is well”

I thank you. [Applause.]]

Mr M A MANGENA: Mr Speaker, hon members, the sudden and tragic death of the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Molefi Sefularo, came as a huge shock to many of us. Dr Sefularo was an admirable and complete package of plain simplicity, service, dedication to duty and unwavering patriotism. He had absolutely no airs and was an uncomplicated personality and his dedication to duty unmistakable.

A story is told about a priest from Molteno in the Cape who knew nothing about politics, but was nevertheless framed by the security police in Molteno and put on trial. The priest did not worry because he knew he had done nothing wrong, but when the judge found him guilty and pronounced that he would be going to Robben Island for 15 years, the priest shouted from the dock … “UThixo akakho!” [There is no God!]

We might also be tempted to feel that if there is a God, why would he allow a servant of the people who is so dedicated to die so young? Dr Sefularo’s life is worth more than a thousand lectures on socialism. His exemplary life should be put up there for us, especially the young, to emulate. Azapo expresses its condolences to his family and his organisation. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms C M P KOTSI: Mr Speaker and hon members …

… ka motsotso ona ke lekatsa ho bua le ba lelapa la Ntate Sefularo, ke re ho bona ka ntsweleng: “lefu o sehloho”. Kajeno ka ho panya ha leihlo, bana ba hae ba se ba hloka motswadi ebile ba se ba hloka mmuelli. (Translation of Sesotho paragraph follows.)

[… at this moment I would like to talk to the family of Mr Sefularo and say: “Death, you are so cruel”. In the twinkling of an eye, his children have been deprived of a parent as well as a provider.]

I would like to say that the role played by Mr Sefularo in the liberation struggle and in liberating the people of South Africa made him leave his profession as a doctor and decide to work for the larger community, which meant empowering the people of South Africa, especially those who have been disadvantaged.

Ke lefu feela le bohloko le re arohanyang le batho bao re ba ratang, empa leha ho le jwalo, ke a dumela le nna mme ke re ho lokile. Ho na le batho ka matsatsi a mangata bao re reng ha ba a tshwanela ho shwa hobane maphelo a bona a jere maphelo a batho ba bangata ho bona ba le bang lefatsheng. Ntate Sefularo ke mmona jwaloka motho ya jwalo. (Translation of Sesotho paragraph follows.)

[It is only death that can separate us from our loved ones, yet be that as it may, I accept and say it’s alright. Oftentimes we say that there are some people who are not supposed to die because many people’s lives depend on such people in this world. Mr Sefularo was such a man.]

He was very disciplined and very humble, and that is what people say about him. Many a time we say things that do not befit a person, but with Dr Sefularo he was exactly what people said about him. He was kind, he was humble, he was quiet, but he was very firm and very hard-working. Even when he was an ordinary member, you would see him in these corridors working very seriously, doing the work of Parliament and the work of his party.

Ka mantswe ano, re re ho ba lelapa la ntate Sefularo ba amohele hoba le rona re amohetse. Empa re sa pheta re re “lefu, o sehloho”. Ke a leboha. [Mahofi.] (Translation of Sesotho paragraph follows.)

[With these words we say to the family of Mr Sefularo that they should accept, because we have also accepted it. Once more we say, “Death, you are so cruel”. Thank you. [Applause.]]

Mna L M MPHAHLELE: Mohl Spikara, mokgapa o mogolo o wele, dithaga tša lla mašogošogo, tša lla tswii ke senanatswidi. Go ba lapa la ga Sefularo, re re, se ke ngwetši ya malapa kamoka. MoLabanese Kahlil Gibran o ile a re ge a bolela ka mpho a re, ke a mo tsopola …

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you
give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but
things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow? And
tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones
in the trackless sand ... And what is fear of need but need itself? (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)

[Mr L M MPHAHLELE: Hon Speaker, the great hero has fallen and the whole nation is mourning. We would like to say to the Sefularo family that this happens to everyone. Lebanese Kahlil Gibran said, and I quote:

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you
give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but
things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow? And
tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones
in the trackless sand ... And what is fear of need but need itself?

I say this because Comrade Sefularo had possessions, but he gave more than possessions to the struggle. He gave his own life. Everybody who knew him closely reckons that the man was humble, was disciplined and was a gallant soldier for the new world. As the PAC, we join the Sefularo family and his political family, the ANC, and indeed, we join the entire nation to say farewell, Comrade Sefularo. Thank you. [Applause.]

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, the children of …

… Ntate Sefularo ba ba lego gona mo, Chere, Bonolo le Mmasetshaba … [… Mr Sefularo that are in our midst, Chere, Bonolo and Mmasetshaba …]

When the great and gigantic tree collapses in the forest, there is the screeching of the owl, the singing of the bird, the bellowing of the bull, the crying of the eagle, the roaring of the lion, the trumpeting of the elephant, and the growling of the tiger. The entire forest and animal kingdom responds in a collective and instantaneous reverberation in the recognition that the mighty in the forest has fallen.

The national shock and grief that followed the sudden departure of one of the country’s beloved sons, Dr Paul Molefi Sefularo, resonates clearly with this phenomenon of the natural world.

… mokgapa o mogolo o wele, dithaga di lla bošogošogo. [… the great hero has fallen and the nation has lost.]

With the departure of Dr Molefi Sefularo, we have seen the collapse of one of the greatest products ever produced, a well-trained and seasoned cadre, anointed and baptised in the rich traditions and customs of our revolutionary movement. We have been robbed of a loving father and caring husband, a dedicated comrade and friend, a humble servant, a passionate and committed revolutionary, a prolific thinker, a valued academic, and a politician who dedicated his entire life to change.

Those who had the privilege of meeting or working with him will know Dr Sefularo as one of the hardest working, committed and humble cadres, true to the character of the caring organisation, the ANC, to which he belonged. He would always put the interests of others, particularly the less privileged in society, ahead of his own. He was selfless and, like many comrades who put their personal and family lives on hold in pursuit of the liberation struggle, he spent his life fighting for the South Africa that we live in today.

He was of the revolutionary generation of medical practitioners who surrendered their skills, talents and knowledge to the cause of our liberation during the most difficult period of our history. As a medical graduate from Medunsa, Dr Sefularo could have simply chosen to open a private practice and live a life that was financially comfortable for him and his family. However, because of his willing sacrifice and selflessness, he saw his qualification as one of the weapons in the cause of the people’s struggle for freedom.

Through his practice as a doctor at the Natalspruit Hospital in Katlehong, he played a pivotal role in reviving the mass democratic structures, such as the youth and the civic movements in Ekurhuleni. When he was transferred to the Krugersdorp Hospital, he continued to work with many structures and unions in the area.

Like many other revolutionary medical practitioners ever produced by our revolution, Dr Sefularo understood that upholding the Hippocratic Oath of professionalism in medical practice was not a task that is only conducted with in the confines of hospital consultation rooms, but a task that involves healing the nation of all its social ills, such as poverty, underdevelopment, joblessness, crime, illiteracy and disease.

His death has indeed robbed all of us of a dynamic and talented leader with a passion for social justice and deep care for the poor. He crisscrossed the country, promoting health awareness and ensuring that our people, particularly the poor in the rural areas, had access to decent health care and that they were mobilised behind government programmes.

Consistent with his character as a people’s person and committed servant, he lamented the state of our political activism in one of his last contributions to the ANC Today. He said:

One of the most critical failings on the part of the activists of our times is that with the advent of democracy, we allowed ourselves to be demobilised. We trusted too much the legally prescribed form of democratic participation and governance.

Our programme for the fundamental transformation of the national health care sector, which Dr Sefularo championed as part of our national Health Ministry, has been left the poorer for his death.

As we mourn his tragic death, we must also celebrate a colourful life entirely dedicated to the struggle for peace, freedom and justice. At the height of the repressive apartheid period, when joining the struggle was, at best, regarded as a ticket to prison and, at worst, a step closer to one’s grave, Dr Sefularo defiantly joined the struggle like many other brave martyrs of our revolution, risking his own life and that of his family in the process.

When apartheid was finally dismantled in 1994 and cadres were roped in to serve in the newly formed democratic government, Dr Sefularo responded to the call. He formed part of the first generation of the new South Africa’s legislators in the North West province, where he also held various leadership positions in the ANC and government, including as MEC for health and recently as the deputy chairperson of the ANC.

He may have been soft-spoken and not endowed with physical height, but he had the heart of a giant and was intellectually rich. When he joined Parliament in 2004, Dr Sefularo proved to be one of the most talented cadres who contributed remarkable arguments to the national discourse, particularly through various structures of the ANC caucus. He was an asset to the Whippery and the strategy committee which is tasked with ensuring that the ANC contributes qualitatively to debates in the House.

When we proclaimed that health would be one of our five priorities in the next five years, we said this with the knowledge and full understanding that our movement had a troop of outstanding cadres like Dr Sefularo, who had both the wisdom and strength to translate our manifesto into practical action to bring about real change in the quality of life of our people. In his last contribution to the ANC Today in February, Dr Sefularo wrote passionately about the importance of the need for quality health care for the poor. He said:

Our first priority lies in recognising that health care and, indeed, all public service, is based on values of caring, dedication and integrity; and that this has to be led from the top, from our leadership.

As we gather here today to celebrate his life we can proclaim, without any fear of contradiction, that Sefularo was indeed an outstanding cadre who never shied away from challenges. He was deeply committed to the struggle for the betterment of his people’s lives. He served his people with distinction, and was loyal to the movement to the very last day of his life.

As we mourn his death, we are also celebrating the extraordinary qualities that he embodied as a comrade, father, husband, son, civil servant and caring health practitioner. Comrade Sefularo taught us that our membership in the ANC should and must not be motivated by material gain but by a willingness to serve our people. He performed whatever responsibilities the movement tasked him with with great pride and humanity.

To conclude, for him deployment was not about status but about serving the people of this country. He taught us to serve with commitment and dedication in the various areas of work where we are deployed.

Comrades and hon members, Comrade Sefularo indeed left us many lessons from which to draw. There can be no doubt that Comrade Sefularo will rest in peace if all of us gathered here today emulate his good deeds as we continue with the struggle to free our people from poverty and underdevelopment.

We must ensure that the betterment of the quality of life of millions of South Africans, through the enhancement of our health care and other services which Dr Sefularo dedicated his life fighting for, is speeded up in honour of his legacy. We must also, as a nation, ensure that we hold a successful Fifa Soccer World Cup in honour of his memory. As a Deputy Minister, he worked to position South Africa as a destination of choice for medical health care ahead of the Fifa Soccer World Cup.

Painful as it is to lose a man of the calibre of Dr Sefularo, we must nevertheless draw inspiration from and embrace the attitude of the Japanese writer Kenji Miyazawa, who said, “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey”.

Lastly, to the Sefularo family, particularly Mme Kgomotso, and to the children, Chere, Bonolo, Masechaba and Ipeleng, parents and parents-in-law, on behalf of the ANC I wish to thank you immensely for the strength, support and understanding that enabled Dr Sefularo to surrender and commit his life to the ANC and to the betterment of the lives of our people. We dare not betray the rich legacy Comrade Sefularo left for all of us. We shall pick up the spear and continue with the struggle until all our people have a better life.

Robala ka khutšo, Morolong, robala ka khutšo, Tholo! [Legofsi.] [Rest in peace, Morolong; rest in peace, Tholo! [Applause.]]

Debate concluded.

Motion agreed to, members standing.

The SPEAKER: The presiding officers associate themselves with the motion. The condolences of the House will be conveyed to the Sefularo family, the ANC and its alliance partners.

The House adjourned at 14:40.