THE black community is saddened at the death of one of the most beautiful women in South Africa.
We are grateful that the Almighty spared Mme Sheena Duncan until now. She and her sisters in the Black Sash were sometimes all that stood between us and the hated apartheid government. The Black Sash women fought tirelessly to alleviate our suffering and to secure a better life for us.
They were especially effective during the bleak period when black communities were neglected at best and brutalised, labouring under slavish conditions.
While Duncan belonged to the privileged class, she identified with the oppressed black people of our country. She had a liberal-socialist belief in upholding the dignity of man, in uplifting the downtrodden and in living in peace with others.
Our sorrows and fears lifted a little whenever her ample figure hove into view. She took up the cudgels and fought tirelessly, without profit or reward, against members of her own race who enslaved us.
We will never forget Duncan's principled courage and her championing of our cause. She did not ask for recognition or praise, it was merely her duty as a member of humanity.
We still remember the days when non-governmental organisations virtually ran our communities, while the rest of the country pretended we did not exist.
We thank her for her empathy, activism and love of humanity. Farewell, Mme Duncan. We thank you for being there for us. We will never forget you.
We extend our condolences to the Duncan family and friends.