The wife of one of the Cradock Four, councillor Nyameka Goniwe, has died.
Tributes are pouring in for Goniwe, the speaker of Inxuba Yethemba municipality in Cradock, who died after a short illness.
Matthew Goniwe, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkhonto and Sicelo Mhlauli — known as the Cradock Four — were brutally murdered near Port Elizabeth by members of the Security Branch of the SA police 34 years ago.
The Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM), under which the nxuba Yethemba municipality falls, is mourning her sudden death.
“The municipality is overcome with a deep sense of sadness on the sudden passing of Cllr Nyameka Goniwe. Her passing marks one of the most painful moments in our district. We are indeed thankful that we had a privilege to be part of her life and words are not adequate to explain the loss of this gentle soul.
“On behalf of Chris Hani District Municipality, we offer our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to her children Nobuzwe and Nyaniso and their beloved family at this difficult moment. We also extend our deepest sympathy to the community of Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality which Cllr Goniwe has worked with for so many years.
“We have lost a colleague, a friend, a great leader and a patriot whose life was dedicated for the betterment of other,” said Wongama Gela, the municipality’s mayor.
In 2016 she became a full-time councillor in the district, where she served in the municipal public accounts committee and, later, as the member of the mayoral committee. She was then redeployed to the Inxuba Yethemba municipality as council speaker.
“As we mourn her passing, we are reminded of her humanity, respect and immense loyalty to the cause of the people. Her first concern was never for herself but always for her community, how she could make our district and her locality a better place for every family living there and every individual passing through.
“We know we speak for many others when we say we came to appreciate, respect and love Sisi Nyami for the helpful, supportive, and caring friend and leader that she was. She always put others first and we benefited greatly from her friendship,” said Gela.
He said they had lost a pioneer, trailblazer and a woman of extraordinary fortitude.