Heart-felt tributes still pouring in

18 December 2009 - 02:00
By Zinhle Mapumulo and Sapa

TRIBUTES for former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang continued to pour in yesterday.

TRIBUTES for former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang continued to pour in yesterday.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) expressed its condolences to Tshabalala-Msimang's family, friends and colleagues.

"Tshabalala-Msimang served as the country's minister of health for close to nine years and brought about many changes within the healthcare industry. The HPCSA acknowledges the strides made in providing broader access to health care services for the well ness and benefit of the South African public," HPCSA spokesperson Bertha Scheepers said.

The SA Medical Association also sent its condolences to the family.

Azapo acknowledged and recognised Tshabalala-Msimang's lifelong commitment to the liberation of the country and her role in the advancement of the South Africa after the demise of apartheid.

"She served with sincerity and did what she genuinely believed to be in the best interests of the country and its people.

"The health budget of the country increased significantly under her watch as minister of health. South Africa developed one of the best and most comprehensive HIV-Aids programmes in the world.

"She worked extremely hard to improve the health of our population, though not always attaining the desired results. We doff our hats to her at this point of her passing. May her family accept our deep felt condolences," said Azapo president Mosibudi Mangena.

The ANC Youth League also sent its condolences to her husband Mendi Msimang, her daughters and family.

Sadtu also joined the long list of organisations that paid tribute.

"Tshabalala-Msimang was a loyal member of the ANC who dedicated her life to working towards the realisation of a dream of a free, democratic and better South Africa.

"She was a gender activist who, as minister in the Presidency, played a critical role towards the formation of the the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities. She ensured the adoption of the National Youth Development Agency Bill aimed at realising holistic youth development for the young people of South Africa," said the Sadtu secretariat.

The Pan Africanist Congress Youth League said Tshabalala-Msimang could not be held responsible for the controversial HIV-Aids policies.

"Rather, the blame should be placed on the ANC ,whose policies she was enforcing.

"Our people should be reminded that Tshabalala-Msimang was not developing policy by herself. She was implementing and defending ANC policy."

"The masses of our people and the media should be reminded that it's the government since 1994. Therefore everything good and everything bad that happened should be blamed on the ANC."

They also called on 5FM to fire DJ Gareth Cliff for his opinions on her death.

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said Tshabalala-Msimang's death should be used as a signpost towards an Aids-free South Africa.

He said it was with an aching heart and deep regret that he recalled the HIV-Aids policies the former health minister pursued.

"We also honour the countless thousands who in consequence died during this time, and stand in solidarity alongside those who grieve their all too often untimely loss," he said in a statement.

"Let us use the death of Tshabalala-Msimang as a milestone on our journey, a signpost towards a future with an Aids-free South Africa.

"Let us go on from here determined to fight this scourge."