International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has sent a message of condolence to the family, friends and colleagues of Ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza.
Mabuza passed away on Monday after a long battle with cancer. She was 83 years old.
According to the statement released by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Mabuza was born in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, in 1938.
After matriculating, she went to study at Pius XII University College, Roma, Lesotho then an affiliate of the University of South Africa now known as the University of Lesotho.
On a scholarship, she went to Grailville Community College in Ohio, United States, where she obtained a Diploma in Home Economics.
She returned to Roma to complete her BA degree, majoring in English Literature and Zulu, graduating in 1961. She became a teacher and taught English, Biology and Zulu literature at Manzini Central School, Swaziland.
She joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1975 and became a journalist for the party’s Radio Freedom, based in Lusaka.
“Ambassador Mabuza was a recipient of the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver awarded for her excellent contribution to mobilising the use of arts and application of creativity for democracy, thereby displaying that cultural activism played a significant role in achieving democracy,” said the department.
Mabuza also served as Chairperson of the ANC Cultural Committee from 1977 to 1979 and South Africa’s Ambassador in Germany, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.
Recently, the former diplomat served on the Foreign Policy Review Panel chaired by Aziz Pahad.
Pandor has remembered Mabuza as an accomplished author and poet.
“South Africa has lost an illustrious freedom fighter, cultural activist and diplomat,” the Minister added.
The Thabo Mbeki Foundation described Mabuza as a “self-effacing, guileless, and humane person, who served our country and its people with distinction for well over half a century in various capacities during both the struggle for our liberation and the democratic dispensation”.
According to Rhodes University, the Senate and Council voted to confer the degree of Doctor of Literature on Mabuza at the April 2022 graduation ceremonies.
Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela then communicated telephonically with Mabuza the university’s offer of an honorary doctorate in August and followed this with a letter on 26 November 2021.
“She was absolutely excited about the honour and was looking forward to the official conferment of the honorary degree,” Mabizela said.
“On behalf of Rhodes University Council, Chancellor Judge Lex Mpati, Board of Governors, and the university community at large, we send our deepest condolences to Ambassador Mabuza’s family, friends and colleagues. May her soul rest in eternal peace,” he added. – SAnews
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