Champion of consumer rights

Thuli Zungu

Thuli Zungu

Mathapelo Moloi, 45, the first and only secretary of the Gauteng Office of Consumer Affairs for the past 12 years has died.

A warm-hearted and energetic person Moloi had been a pillar of the consumer affairs office since it was established in 1997, having she started as an investigating officer specialising in furniture complaints, she worked her way up.

The generous Moloi made sure that her colleagues always had enough blankets for winter. I have 20 blankets that she bought for me from an izigodi after she started the dikobo stokvel in 1998.

Moloi was also an "ATM" to her family, colleagues and friends. I knew exactly where to go when I did not have enough money to see me through to the end of the month.

Moloi was sensitive and accommodating, but she also knew when she was being used and she put her foot down firmly.

Moloi enrolled at Damelin to empower herself in legal matters.

She was an asset in more ways than one and the Office of Consumer Affairs could not do without her even though the requisite was to employ legally qualified investigators.

She retained her post because of her knowledge, her passion and determination to fight for the rights of consumers. New investigators received excellent training from her. She was always willing to educate them about the rights of consumers.

But she was equally willing to learn and readily took advice from other people to improve the status of consumers.

Moloi was admitted to hospital in November 2008 after she had identified her cousin who was found floating in the Vaal River in Gauteng.

There had also been many other deaths in her family and after burying a number of family members, Moloi was admitted to hospital for a stress-related condition. Illnesses ranging from kidney failure, high blood pressure and asthma ravaged her fragile body.

Then three weeks ago, her heart weakened.

Moloi deserves an award for all that she has done in her short life. May her soul rest in peace.

She will be buried at Orange Farm tomorrow. The service will be held at 1148 Extention 7, Orange Farm, from 8am to 11am when the cortege will proceed to the local cemetery.