Emalahleni Mayor Linah Malatjie and her husband Esau Malatjie have died in a late night car crash in Mpumalanga.
Commenting on the tragedy, the African National Congress (ANC) on Monday said, “it mourns the tragic and untimely passing of the executive mayor of the City of Emalahleni, Cde Linah Malatjie together with her husband, Cde Esau Malatjie yesterday at around 22h30”.
Malatjie and her husband were seriously injured when their car was involved in a collision with a Ford Ranger between KwaMhlanga and Emalahleni. They were taken to hospital, but they both succumbed to their injuries.
The driver of the other car, who has yet to be named, died on the scene.
The ANC said, “Cde Linah’s passing leaves a huge void in the ANC and government”.
“The ANC will remember her as a committed activist who served in our structures in various capacities,” said the party in a statement issued by its Nkangala Region.
Malatjie belonged to a generation of post-apartheid activists who “gave impetus to our struggle” beyond the unbanning.
The ANC said she was a vociferous opponent of gender inequality and discrimination.
“Throughout her activism, Cde Linah was in the forefront of the struggle towards the advancement of women emancipation and empowerment,” said the ANC.
“An educator by profession, Cde Linah cut her political teeth in the trade union movement as site-steward in the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) where she served as the education convenor, and gender convenor for the Greater Highveld Region.
“She later served as the provincial gender convenor. She also served in the COSATU structures. She worked as an educator and a deputy principal.”
The ANC said as a cadre, Malatjie understood that the ranks of the party needed to be swelled.
Malatjie was involved in both the ANC branch and women’s league as a member of the PEC and REC structures.
She served as the Municipal Manager in Emakhazeni LM, and the Executive Mayor of Nkangala District Municipality.
“Comrade Linah Malatjie played a key role in stabilising the governance and systems in the City of Emalahleni towards a financially sustainable Local Government institution,” said the ANC.
“Her key focus as the Executive Mayor was on the Accelerated Service Delivery Programme which was underway across the City.
“Comrade Linah Malatjie’s passing is a great loss to the Movement, the community of Emalahleni and society at large.”
The ANC said it was forever grateful for her selfless contribution to the freedom of the people of South Africa and the enhancement of service delivery within the City of Emalahleni.
“To this end, the ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, the City of Emalahleni and the entire liberation movement. We wish them strength and fortitude during this difficult time.”