Matome guided many people

Vusi Magudulela

Vusi Magudulela

The community of Wattville, Ekurhuleni, has lost an extraordinary woman in Jessie Komane Matome. The nurse, caregiver, community activist and political veteran touched many lives.

Born in Witbank on October 17 1924, Matome attended Emaromeni School and then studied nursing after completing high school.

She started working as a dental nurse in Benoni. He passion for the elderly saw her joining the South African Red Cross Society as a home-based care-giver.

She took education seriously, and furthered her studies while caring for the aged. She was awarded a general certificate in home nursing and completed a First Aid course the following year. In 1986 she was awarded a merit certificate in First Aid for her outstanding work in helping the scores of political activists who were shot by the apartheid police. She enrolled for an advanced certificate in family health in 1987 and followed it up with an advanced course in First Aid in 1990.

The political veteran's passion was passed on to her by her late father, Jim Zitha, a local councillor and prominent Transvaal leader of the ANC. She served her community well.

Her daughter, Keke Matome, said: "She always spoke fondly about the struggles of women, especially their role in the defiance campaign. She encouraged her children to take part in civic activities. Another special interest was mentoring youngsters."

The Evangelical Lutheran Ministries member will be buried at the old Wattville cemetery tomorrow after a service at the local church at 8am.