THE death of Limpopo MEC for Agriculture and Land Reform, Joy Matshoge, who perished in a car crash on Saturday evening, has sent shockwaves across the country’s political spectrum.
Traffic authorities said the incident happened when she was travelling alone on the N1 south near Mokopane, on her way back from Polokwane where she attended an ANC Women’s League gathering.
It is suspected that Matshoge, elected as chairperson of the Limpopo ANCWL last year, lost control of her vehicle after one of her tyres burst.
Messages of condolences started pouring in after confirmation of her death by the provincial government.
In a statement, the ANC Women’s League said: “The ANCWL would like to convey its heartfelt condolences to the Matshoge family and friends during this difficult moment. May we all reflect on the good memories we had with Joy for us to be able to find strength to go through this difficult moment.”
The league described Matshoge as an “outstanding leader” with “selfless servant qualities”.
Its secretary-general Meokgo Matuba said Matshoge would be dearly missed.
“She dedicated most of her time to serve the people of Limpopo. She had a passion for women’s issues. Her untimely death has robbed us of a disciplined, dedicated cadre of our revolution.”
ANC provincial secretary Nock Seabi said the passing away of Matshoge came at a critical period for the ANC as the party was working towards a resounding victory in the August 3 local government elections.
Matshoge’s untimely death comes as ANC top brass, led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, took the party’s campaign trail to her home region of Waterberg.
A closing rally is scheduled to be held in her home town of Modimolle today.
“In her honour, memory and spirit, the PEC will continue with all the elections programme activities in Waterberg, including the rally with the Deputy President at Ephraim Mogale Stadium, Modimolle,” said Seabi.
Matshoge became a member of the provincial legislature in 2008.
She served in several portfolio committees including local government and housing, SCOPA, Ethics Committee and Treasury.
The ANC national executive committee (NEC) appointed her as Limpopo Provincial Task Team (provincial secretary) co-ordinator after disbanding the provincial executive for alleged factionalism.
Under her stewardship the PTT rebuilt party structures, organised five regional conferences and later a successful Limpopo ANC elective conference in February 2014.
The conference elected the current provincial executive under chairman and Premier Stan Mathabatha.