Hansard: Establishment of Ad Hoc Joint Committee to consider Appointment of Members to National Youth Development Agency Board
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 04 Feb 2009
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2009
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
START OF DAY
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The Late Mr Ebrahim Cassim Saloojee)
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move without notice, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the House –
notes with profound sadness the passing away of hon Ebrahim Saloojee on Sunday, 1 February 2009, after a long illness;
recalls that hon Saloojee committed his life to the cause of freedom, peace and democracy, and that he joined the Transvaal Indian Congress and became its publicity secretary;
further recalls that hon Cass, as he was fondly known amongst his comrades, spearheaded the formation of the Johannesburg Indian Social Welfare Agency and became its CEO, and that this organisation played a critical role in contextualising the socioeconomic problems of black people within the apartheid policy, and that he was very active as a CEO in creating a platform through Jiswa, for the mobilisation, in particular, of the Indian community, and was a stalwart in the welfare movement...
The SPEAKER: Order hon members! We are dealing here with a motion about a loss of a member, a colleague. Some people don't see the seriousness of this matter. I would like those people to please leave the House so that we remain with those people who understand that the National Assembly is in mourning. Please continue.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Thank you, Madam Speaker.
... and that he was a stalwart in the welfare movement and played a critical role in its transformation;
remembers the momentous role played by hon Saloojee towards the birth of a nonracial, nonsexist democratic South Africa, as well as his immense contribution in the reconstruction and development of our country;
acknowledges that his outstanding selfless dedication and willingness to serve in whatever capacity was the hallmark of this remarkable member, who has been a Member of Parliament since 1994, and that he served for 10 years as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development; and
conveys its condolences to the Saloojee family and to the ANC.
The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Madam Speaker and hon members, it is a special honour, albeit a very sad moment, to speak on our reminiscences of Comrade Ebrahim Cassim Saloojee, whom we fondly and only knew as Cass Saloojee. Comrade Cass, like many of us, had two sets of parents, his biological parents as well as the sociopolitical context in which we were brought up.
Describing that context, the late Comrade Govan Mbeki, during the Rivonia Trial, quoted from a speech the late Gen J B Hertzog had made in the National Assembly of those days in 1936, and I quote Oom Gov quoting J B Hertzog. Hertzog strenuously defended white supremacy, and in his own words, quoting Oom Gov said:
Self preservation is a first law of nature.
The late Oom Gov also quoted a following Prime Minister, Mr J G Strijdom, who amplified on General Hertzog. His views were articulated in Afrikaans, and I quote Oom Gov quoting J G Strijdom:
Die wit man moet altyd baas wees. [The white man should always be the master.]
This is a context that gave birth to Comrade Cass Saloojee, over and above the biological programme of his procreation.
This environment, the pressure and influence of great leaders such as the proverbial three doctors, Drs Dadoo, Naicker and Xuma, and indeed many other leaders of the democratic movement, propelled the young Cass Saloojee into the membership, activism and finally leadership of a whole range of democratic structures, fighting and striving for the attainment of a just, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
I met him for the first time when all of us were members of the United Democratic Front. Comrade Cass became the second treasurer of the United Democratic Front, the first having been Ram Saloojee. He was one of those leaders that many of us looked up to even when there were very difficult and very fragmenting discussions within the democratic movement itself.
Comrade Cass played a very important role in December 1983, at the Feather Market Hall, in a big debate on whether or not the Indian and Coloured communities should participate in an imminent referendum. Those who were present there - and I can see some of them here - will remember how the Transvaal delegation, of which he was part, was divided on that issue at the conference. Together with Prof Mohamed, he led a detachment of cadres that were floating above the ordinary thinking of the democrats that were assembled under that roof that day. They insisted on the indivisibility of the purpose of the democratic movement.
Comrade Cass was a deeply committed person to the freedom of our people, and to their unity and nonracialism. He was a proud revolutionary and a dedicated member of the ANC. He was one of those who knew very well, from his own experience, that the democratic forces must co-operate and must never be fragmented.
The relationship between the SA Communist Party, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the ANC and democratic movement from the nongovernmental forces of the time had to be nursed and nurtured. He actively contributed to the cohesion of these forces and to strengthening their unity in action, and as a result, he chaired a number of these very important structures.
He was a passionate revolutionary who was also very passionate about sport, both in the Portfolio Committee on Sport, as well as in the Portfolio Committee of Social Development, which he chaired. He always displayed very good knowledge of our society and what needed to be done. He was empathic to the suffering of the poor and spared no energy in making a contribution to the alleviation of their pain.
When the roll call of combatants for justice and prosperity is made, thousands of combatants will jostle to their places in the ranks of the ANC. When his name is called, all of us will move forward and shout with a loud voice: "Present!", because he stood for what all of us must continue to stand for. We are very sad to lose him, but we are glad to have him as one of our ancestors. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs S V KALYAN
The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION
Mrs S V KALYAN: Madam Speaker, it is with great sadness that we gather here today, to pay tribute to a distinguished member of this House hon Cass Saloojee who passed away peacefully after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Hon Saloojee dedicated much of his adult life to the social welfare sector, and my first association with him was in his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Johannesburg Indian Social Welfare Agency, Jiswa,
He was a selfless community worker, a tireless champion of the poor and he used the platform of Jiswa to uplift and mobilise the Indian Community in the anti-apartheid struggle. His legacy in Jiswa lives on even today. Cass was also the founding member of the Anti-South African India Council Committee. He belonged to many community-based and political organisations which fought the apartheid regime, and he paid the ultimate price for his political activities when he was arrested for treason in the Maritzburg United Democratic Front, UDF, treason trial.
His experience as the President of the Transvaal Indian Congress held him in good stead as the TIC delegate to Codesa and the Multiparty Negotiating Forum.
Hon Salojee's track record in politics is most admirable - he became an MP in 1994 and his expertise in the welfare sector resulted in his appointment as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development. This is where I got to know Cass much better as I served on this committee.
His style of leadership was inclusive and even if he did no agree with one, he would take time to listen. I remember fondly a study tour to the United Kingdom in 2001, which he led. We were walking into Trafalgar Square and I was listening to stories of his life during the struggle. His compassion and caring nature endeared him to me.
I pray that his soul rests in peace, and may Allah bless his soul and keep him under the shade of his mercy. I also pray that Allah grants his family the wife Khadija in particular, strength to bear the irreplaceable loss. Rest in peace Cass, your life's work is done.
Mrs I MARS
Mrs S V KALYAN
Mrs I MARS: Madam Speaker, this is a very sad day for all of us. This is a man of whom I knew of his work within Johannesburg and within the Indian community, long before I actually met him. The amazing thing about him was that, I knew so much about him, yet I had never met him. That shows you the role he played.
We finally met in 1994 when he became the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of which was then known as Welfare. He was determined to widen the scope of this portfolio committee and frequently ask representatives of opposition parties to his office to discuss these matters, debate them and in most instances reach consensus.
I and others found him to be kind, caring, knowledgeable and very concerned, and always willing to talk about the needs of our people. I firmly believe that Cass, from a wealth of experience, was instrumental in promoting a greater understanding of the socio-economic background of the majority of South Africans.
I believe that this understanding certainly impacted on the legislative requirements of the new South Africa. Cass, in many ways was a quiet and gentle person. However, he was a man with great inner strength and was passionate about his beliefs and his beliefs were that all South Africans deserved a better life and social protection when it was needed.
The IFP extends its warmest sympathy to his wife, sons, friends and colleagues. Parliament has lost a very special person who served for a number of years as chairperson of a very important committee. Cass was a doer but he could also be a talker at times. He served all of us, South Africa and this Parliament with distinction. He will be greatly missed. I thank you.
Mr G T MADIKIZA
Mrs I MARS
Mr G T MADIKIZA: Madam Speaker, hon members on behalf of the UDM I extend our sincerest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of the late hon Cass Saloojee. For this institution too, it is a grievous loss to bid farewell to a member who had served since 1994, including a decade at the helm of the Portfolio Committee on social development.
He will also be remembered for his contribution prior to 1994 when he was fighting the injustices of apartheid and to usher in a democratic and more just dispensation for our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Saloojee family during this difficult time.
We join the other parties in saluting the life of an exceptional individual. May his soul, rest in peace. I thank you.
Mrs C DUDLEY
Mr G T MADIKIZA
Mrs C DUDLEY: Madam Speaker, the ACDP was saddened to hear that Mr Cassim Saloojee, one of the longest serving Members of Parliament, who passed away on Sunday, 1 February 2009, at his home in Johannesburg after losing his battle against Alzheimer. He will be missed.
The ACDP recognizes the important role that Mr Saloojee fulfilled for many years as the voice of the Indian community. He was a hard worker and a dynamic activist, mobilising his community and transforming the welfare movement.
To his wife, Khadija, and two sons, Riaz and Mohamed, your husband and father was respected and loved. In the short time I was privileged to work under his leadership in the Social Development Portfolio Committee at Parliament, I was impressed by his passion and genuine concern for people. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr I S MFUNDISI
Mrs C DUDLEY
Mr I S MFUNDISI: Hon Speaker, hon members, the United Christian Democratic Party joins the Chief Whip of the ANC on the motion to bid the late Ebrahim Saloojee farewell to a better place.
As a septuagenarian, he was characterised by wisdom. Younger folks should have learnt from him that it is good to travel with your spouse. This he did religiously.
He spent the greater part of his life in the service of the people. A look at his profile indicates that he meant to live for the masses of the people of this country.
He played a great role in organisations such as the Transvaal Indian Congress and had a hand in the Mass Democratic Movement that saw to the negotiations on the release of former President Mandela from Pollsmoor Prison.
Mr Saloojee will be remembered by the way he carried himself. He was always very quiet and calm. The UCDP expresses condolences to the Saloojee family and the African National Congress. We say: He has had his innings and may his soul rest in peace. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms S RAJBALLY
Mr I S MFUNDISI
Ms S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, it is with great sadness that I stand at this podium bidding farewell to a dedicated and selfless comrade and a fellow Member of Parliament, the late Ebrahim Cassim Saloojee.
Saloojee has a great history of commitment to fighting for justice, freedom and democracy for us as South Africans. He has served in auspicious positions in many freedom fighting organizations and has served us in the first generation of democracy to date.
His history does not come untainted by sacrifice and hardship of which we all know is endured by his entire family.
At this time of loss, the MF extends its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the beloved Saloojee. We pray that God lightens your path in this difficult time.
As a neighbour in Acacia Park for my two terms, I personally will miss you very dearly.
Our condolences are further extended to the ANC who has lost a most admirable comrade. May the wheels continue to churn with his great strength and example.
We pray that the late Saloojee be granted Janatul Firdous and light be placed in his kabr, Insha-Allah.
From God do we come and unto God do we return. I thank you. [Applause.]
DR S E M PHEKO
Ms S RAJBALLY
Dr S E M PHEKO: Madam Speaker, the PAC is saddened by the passing away of the hon Ebrahim Saloojee. He was indeed an honourable man; not just because of the title this Parliament conferred on him. He was a real veteran of the struggle. He knew many of the PAC veterans and he often related some of the pleasant experiences he had had with them. He was a gentleman. In these days of parochial politics you could not tell by the manner in which he behaved to which political party he belonged. It takes quite a great deal of discipline to serve in this Parliament for 15 years. I understand he served on the Portfolio Committee on Finance. Work in that committee is strenuous. Meetings are not easy and are very long. But there was national duty to be done there and he rose to the occasion. I daresay, he did so with distinction. It is a great loss, not only to his family but to this nation and of course to the ANC. We convey our condolences to his family and to the ANC. I think he fits the words of St Paul when he said: "I have fought a good fight. I have finished my race." Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L M GREEN
Dr S E M PHEKO
Mr L M GREEN: Madam Speaker, hon Ministers and members, the FD expresses its sincere condolences to Mrs Khadijah Saloojee and the Saloojee family on the loss of a husband, a brother, a friend and a valued member of the family, the hon late Mr Cassim Saloojee. He was a respected Member of Parliament and served his nation with distinction. It is sad for our nation to lose such committed people when they have still so much to give. He was an activist and a founder member of the UDF, who worked tirelessly for a free and democratic South Africa. He was a soft-spoken man and when he spoke to give advice, it was always with great wisdom. Hon member Saloojee chaired the Social Development Standing Committee and gave good guidance in the development of state policy. As a former member of the Social Development Committee I had the privilege to travel once with the hon Saloojee on his many trips overseas, so as to learn more about the social services of other countries. On these trips the hon Saloojee always led with distinction. He was an easy man to work with and today we give him the recognition for his work done as an outstanding parliamentarian. Our hearts go out to the family, friends, colleagues, the ANC on the last Cassim Saloojee. May his soul rest in peace. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr I VADI
Mr L M GREEN
Mr I VADI: Madam Speaker, I am truly humbled to have been selected by the ANC to present a message of condolence to the family and friends of the late Ebrahim Saloojee. It is not often that a young activist is called upon to talk about the life of an elder and a great leader. It would have been more fitting for veterans such as Andrew Mlangeni or Mewa Rambogin, who were contemporaries and personal friends of Cas to be standing here to say a few words in memory of their comrade. But that task has been given to me.
Cassim Saloojee passed away this last weekend after a period of prolonged illness. He suffered from a rare neurodegenerative disease resulting in uncontrolled memory loss. I remember that before he was given leave of absence from this House, he one evening drove for several hours looking for his home in Acacia Park. Quite often you would find him walking the car park here; not knowing where he had parked his car in the morning. But his illness never broke his spirit. When I visited him late last year, he was full of life. He asked about so many of you and he wanted to know what was happening in Parliament. Cass was a passionate social worker. He was a strong and capable political leader, an enthusiastic sportsman and at once stage an accomplished tobacco pipe smoker. He dedicated the better part of his life to uplifting the welfare of ordinary people. As we have heard, he spearheaded the formation of the Johannesburg Indian Social Welfare Association and served as its director for over 25 years. Under the harshness of life in apartheid South Africa it was Cassim Saloojee and his dedicated staff as Jiswa who provided relief, assistance, care and comfort to literally hundreds of thousands of people, irrespective of race. Through his work in Jiswa, he was able to develop a deep understanding of the brutality of life under apartheid, which he later so effectively used to mobilise communities against the apartheid system and NP rule.
In the 1980s Cassim Saloojee was one of the founders of ACTSTOP, a civic organisation that mobilised and organised residents facing evictions in the Johannesburg Inner City. He called upon the people to act and stop evictions. He called upon them to defy the hated Group Areas Act and he called upon all Blacks - Africans, Coloureds and Indians - to reclaim their ownership over the city of Johannesburg.
When former President P W Botha established the racist tricameral parliament in 1984, it was Cassim Saloojee, together with former members of this House such as Dr Essop Jassat, Lalloo Chiba, the late Billy Nair, Pravhin Gordhan, Ela Ghandi and the hon Mewa Ramgobin and Prof Ismail Mohamed that had launched one of the most successful election boycott campaigns in the history of South Africa. Under the banner of the revived Transvaal and Natal Indian Congresses they had mobilised the vast majority of South Africans of Indian origin to deliver a devastating blow against the tricameral parliamentary system, thereby denying it any legitimacy in the community.
Cassim Saloojee initially served as the publicity secretary of the Transvaal Indian Congress and went on to become its president during the state of emergency in the late 1980s. It was in this capacity that he led a joint delegation of the Transvaal and Natal Indian Congresses to Lusaka to meet with the banned ANC.
As we have heard, Comrade Cass was instrumental in the formation of the UDF. He played a key role in the UDF, serving as its national treasurer. This eventually led to his arrest and him being charged for treason in the Pietermaritzburg Treason Trial, together with leaders such as Archie Gumede, Frank Chikane, Albertina Sisulu, Mwera Ramgobin, Curtis Nkondo and Dr Essop Jassat. Incidentally, it was during his detention that he gave up his pipe-smoking habit. Though in his mid-50s he became a health and fitness fanatic in prison and continued playing golf and tennis many years later.
Cass had a zest for life. When he was Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development he would walk through these corridors of Parliament with a serious look on his face. At times he was disturbingly temperamental but he had a splendid sense of humour. I can still see him chewing his gum and laughing with gusto. Cass was ever ready to share a joke; sometimes even a little naughty one with a youngster like me.
In 2001 my wife and I had the privilege of going with Cassim Saloojee and his wonderful wife Aunty Khadijah on pilgrimage to Mecca. Cass was not a particularly religious person but Mecca and the city of Medina had a profound impact on him. It softened him and ignited in him a deep sense of spirituality that was not there before. On my final visit to him, his last words to me were: "Ismail, when are you taking me for haj again?"
Cassim Saloojee was born in Krugersdorp in 1935. He lived in Sophiatown, Bloemhof and Johannesburg. He studied in Bombay, at Princeton University in the USA and the old Johannesburg College of Education. He was a teacher but went on to become a social worker. If I were to write a epitaph on Cass's tombstone, I would simply state: Here lies a man who worked for the welfare of his people and who loved his grandchildren dearly. Dear Cass, if your soul is present with us today, we say: Go well. Know that we love you. Our prayers are for you. May God's grace and mercy be upon you. To Auntie Khadija, who is quite ill at the moment and just came out of hospital. To Riaz, Mohamed, Fatima and the five grandchildren – be strong. The ANC expresses its sincerest and heartfelt condolences to all of you. May the Almighty keep you in his care! Thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: That concludes the speakers' list on this matter. I take it that there are no objections to the motion being adopted. The presiding officers associate themselves with the motion. I know ask members to stand to observe a moment of silence in memory of the last Mr Saloojee.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The late Mr Johnny Schippers)
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move without notice...
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES.]
C/W: Mr S B NTULI
C/W: The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
Mr S B NTULI: Madam Speaker, hon members, and the Schippers family in the gallery, I bid you all good afternoon.
It is an honour for me, as the ANC chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, to pay tribute to our comrade, Johnny Schippers, my fellow member on the Portfolio Committee on Defence.
I'll start by saying that, just a week ago, he wanted tickets to the gallery for extra people that he wanted to bring along for tomorrow's state of the nation address. Because he had an idea that my wife would not be attending the event, he wanted to know whether I would be willing to spare him that ticket, since he wanted to bring someone extra along.
I told him that I was not sure, but promised that I would, over the coming weekend, confirm with my wife as to whether she would be attending the event or not. I joked with him then and said that, if my wife chose not attend, he could accompany me as my partner. We both laughed at that.
Little did I know that, come the following week, when I was supposed to give him feedback about the conversation with my wife, I would instead receive a call informing me that Bra Johnny is no more.
I referred to him as Bra Johnny. He was a member of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, but he was humble. He referred to me as Bra Benji. I told him that this was odd because I was younger than him. He replied by saying, "jy is 'n bra [you are a brother] because we have given you responsibility."
So, while his family feels the pain of the void created by his absence, the Portfolio Committee, and I as its chairperson, feels it as well.
I thought that I should impress upon everyone here today that, as a member of the committee, he worked hard and was very knowledgeable of financial matters. Prior to an audit, he would always draw my attention to certain crucial financial issues in the departmental reports that he knew the Auditor-General would focus on.
Having lost a person of Bra Johnny's calibre, I asked myself what I, as a young man, could do to pay him the best possible tribute. I visited the library. There I came across this poem. As I read it, I hope the family – Doreen, the sons and grandchildren – as well as members will draw strength and inspiration from it.
The renowned poet, B W Vilakazi, who, in anticipating what happens when someone close to you passes on, penned the poem "Ma Ngificwa Ukufa", which, translated into English, is, "If death should steal upon me."
Vilakazi had this to say:
Bury me where the grass grows
Below the weeping willow trees,
To let their branches shed upon me
Leaves of varied greens.
Then, as I lie there, I shall hear
The grass sigh a soft behest:
"Sleep, beloved one, sleep and rest."
Bury me above the dam,
There where the little chirruping birds
Are heard to sing in merriment
And welcome the coming Spring
While fluttering to the waters' brink
To drink protected from the heat.
Let me die beside the road,
There where youthful scholars pass,
For now I can no longer bear
The loads that burden me.
Children's chattering must be
A blessed comfort to the souls
Of those who rest eternally.
Bury me in a place like this:
Where those who scheme and give their tongues
To plots and anger, never can
Displace the earth that covers me
Nor ever keep me from my sleep.
If you who read these lines should chance
To find me, O, then bury me
Where grasses whisper this behest:
"Sleep, beloved one, sleep and rest."
Mama Doreen, Donovan, Branvill, daughters-in-law and grandchildren, may the words of the poet provide solace to you during this bereavement.
We know that a void has been created. We in the Portfolio Committee on Defence as well as the Joint Standing Committee on Defence feel that void too. It is only human for us to say that we have indeed lost a cadre, an honourable member.
Therefore we wish that, when we bury our comrade, his spirit will rest in peace. We shall always strive in the manner that he did, to do our best as dedicated Members of Parliament. On behalf of the ANC, I thank you. [Applause.]
C/W: Mr W P DOMAN
C/W: Mr S B NTULI
Mr W P DOMAN:
Speaker, die agb Johnny Schippers het onverwags, en in diens van sy gemeenskap en party gesterf. Soos ons hom sien leef het - konsensieus, aktief, georganiseerd, met geloofserns en ingetoë – was sy sake sekerlik in orde om sy Maker te ontmoet.
Die omstandighede van sy dood - relatief vroeg op 'n Saterdagoggend, op pad huis toe na Tulbagh vanaf die ANC se streekkantoor in Worcester – dui op sy werksywer en getrouheid. Dit is tragies om so daaraan te dink dat, as hy miskien met 'n groter, luukser voertuig gery het, in plaas van die nederige, klein Colt-bakkie, die geweld van die botsing dalk minder skadelik sou wees, en hy sou oorleef het.
Maar so het ons vir Johnny Schippers geken: nie opgesmuk nie, maar nederig en plat op die aarde, een met sy gemeenskap waarin hy gedien het. Hy was waarlik 'n profeet wat in sy gebied geëer is.
Dat hy op 65-jarige ouderdom gesterf het, is ook vir ons 'n skok, want hy was 'n gesonde en fikse mens wat, na jare van stryd en opbou, juis nou die vrug op sy arbeid met sy vrou Doreen en sy familie kon geniet.
Sy lewe roep egter mooi herinneringe op. Johnny Schippers het 28 jaar in die onderwys gestaan en groot hoogtes bereik. Hy het gevorder eers tot adjunkhoof van die Senior Sekondêre Skool Worcester, en toe, in 1993, sy loopbaan in die onderwys afgesluit as hoof van die Sekondêre Skool Waveren op Tulbagh. Deur hierdie jare het hy werklik help bou aan 'n nasie en het daar letterlik duisende kinders hul lewensrigting deur sy leiding gekry.
Deur selfstuidie het hy die B A-graad aan Unisa en ook die B Ed-graad aan die Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland behaal. Ten tyde van sy dood was hy met 'n Meestersgraad aan Unisa besig. Dit alles wys net daarop dat hy 'n voorbeeld gestel het dat 'n mens akademies toegerus moet wees op jou diensterrein. In hierdie opsig was hy 'n inspirasie vir die jeug.
Vanweë sy positiewe bydrae in die gemeenskap, is hy in 1993 aangewys as Witzenberger van die Jaar. Hierdie prestasie dui op sy betrokkenheid by, en opheffing van die gemeenskap. Ek is seker dat, in hierdie dae, talle getuienisse van individue wat hy oor die jare en tot met sy dood bygestaan het, na vore gaan kom.
Ons in die Parlement wat vir Johnny Schippers geken het, sal hom vir'n paar dinge onthou: Hy was nie 'n luidrugtige lid wat in skreeugevegte betrokke geraak het nie. Hy het deurentyd goeie maniere handhaaf en, met ernstige konfrontasie, sou hy eerder stil geraak het, of weggestap het, as om lelik te raak. Sy bydraes wat hy hier en in die komitees gelewer het, was weloorwoë. Hy het nie baie gepraat nie, maar waneer hy gepraat het, kon jy na hom luister.
Hy was 'n ernstige mens wat dinge vir hom aangetrek het. Hy kon nie spot of ligtelik wees oor verskille of oor mense of sake wat konfronterend was nie. Hy het hom dit ernstig aangetrek. Dit was my waarneming dat hy probleme gehad het die stelling dat ons onsself – veral ons as politici – nie te ernstig moet opneem nie. Vir hom sou dit te ligsinnig wees, want hy het die erns van sy gemeenskap op die hart gedra.
Ons onthou hom ook as een van ons besgeklede lede, wat altyd onberispelik was in sy voorkoms.
Namens die DA vereenselwig ons ons ten volle met die bewoording van die voorstel soos op die Ordelys. Ons betuig ons innige meegevoel met sy vrou, Doreen, en hul seuns Donovan en Branvill, asook sy familie en vriendekring. Mag julle besondere krag ontvang vir die begrafnis eerskomende Saterdag en ook om die leë plek in julle lewens te vul.
Johnny Schippers het gesterf met die hand op die ploeg en nie agtertoe gekyk nie. [Applous.]
C/W: Mr J H VAN DER MERWE
C/W: Mr W P DOMAN:
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Speaker, terwyl ek so geluister het na wat die vorige sprekers gesê het, het die vraag by my opgekom: Wanneer is dit my beurt? Wanneer is dit u beurt dat ons afsterf en dat hier oor ons gepraat word? Die les wat ek daaruit leer is om in my eie lewe ook my lewe so te reël dat ek gereed sal wees as ek geroep word.
Daar is genoeg oor Johnny gesê dat ek 'n bietjie van 'n ander rigting af iets wil sê en dit is: Doreen, as Johnny vandag self hier was, wat sou hy gesê het as hy 'n geleentheid gehad het om oor homself iets te sê? Ek dink hy sou bedankings gedoen het. Ek dink Johnny sou eerstens gesê het: "Ek dank die Here wat my my hele lewe lank bygestaan het." Dan sou hy gesê het: "Aan my vrou, Doreen, baie dankie vir die baie jare wat jy by my gestaan het, vir my lief was en saam met my gestry het." Vir sy kinders, vir almal - sy kleinkinders wat vir hom dierbaar was - hy sou vir sy kollegas in die Parlement en almal gesê het: "Baie dankie vir julle vriendskap, baie dankie vir die goeie tyd wat ek op aarde geniet het."
Van ons kant af wil ons vir Johnny baie dankie sê vir die pragtige voorbeeld wat jy vir ons in die Parlement gestel het. Ek wil nie uitbrei op wat Willem Doman gesê het nie – hy't dit pragtig gedoen. Johnny was 'n nederige, vriendelike mens. Altyd 'n glimlag; netjies geklee; 'n goeie vriend. Hy was iemand wat 'n baie goeie opvoeding vir sy kinders gegee het. Met hierdie paar woorde wil ons vir Johnny sê: Ons groet jou, Johnny. Vir sy vrou en kinders wil ons sê: Ons bid vir julle sterkte van die Here toe.
Johnny mag dood wees, maar sy nagedagtenis sal voortleef en ons sal hom altyd onthou. Totsiens, Johnny. [Applous.]
C/W: Mr J BICI
C/W: Mr J H VAN DER MERWE
Mr J BICI: Speaker, hon members, the UDM extends its condolences to the family and friends of the late Johnny Schippers. He will be remembered for spending his entire adult life in public service, as a polished teacher, a responsible and caring counsellor and finally, an honourable and respected member of this House.
The sudden and tragic manner of his passing in a motor vehicle accident is a loss, not only to his family, friends and political party, but also to the South African community as a whole.
Our thoughts are with his loved ones during this time of bereavement. We hope that they will draw consolation from all the contributions he made to the community during his lifetime. May his soul rest in peace. Thank you. [Applause.] C/W: Mr H B CUPIDO
Mr J BICI
Mr H B CUPIDO: Madam Speaker, hon members, the ACDP joins this House in conveying our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the hon Johnny Schippers who died tragically in a car accident on Saturday morning, 31 January.
It is our sincere hope that they have the insurance and confidence that he has gone to be with his Maker and we pray that they will experience the peace of Jesus Christ at this time.
I met Johnny Schippers while he was still a councillor in the Tulbagh Municipality under the then National Party. He became a member of the National Assembly under the New National Party in 2003 and joined the ANC in 2005.
Here I agree with the other speakers before me that hon Schippers was a person who worked a lot more than he spoke. At the time of his death he was serving as member of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Joint Budget Committee.
We ask God to strengthen his family and colleagues during this time. May God bless you with His peace, which transcends all understanding and guard your hearts and minds. You are in our thought and prayers during this time. Thank you. [Applause.]
C/W: Mr I S MFUNDISI
Mr H B CUPIDO
Mr I S MFUNDISI: Madam Speaker and hon members, the UCDP mourns the loss of Johannes Schippers who succumbed to injuries sustained in a road accident. Whatever the circumstances around the cause of the accident, it is regrettable that we continue to lose lives on our roads.
Mr Schippers was a self-made man who rose from humble beginnings to the level of an elected representative among his people. As a teacher, he never lost touch with his roots. He was humility personified. He remained involved in the community. He never raised himself above the level of the people he lived with. He worshipped with them, founded a crèche for the disadvantaged community in Tulbagh and served on the management committee of the home for the aged. We could not ask for more and better service from him. This was a man of the people.
Surely in the late Mr Schippers' case, it will not be inappropriate to say that he fought a good fight and ran the full distance. We, in the UCDP, cherish the hope that he will qualify for the crown of glory. We express our condolences to all the relatives of the late Mr Schippers and the ANC. May his soul rest in peace. [Applause.]
Ms S RAJBALLY
Mr I S MFUNDISI
Ms S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, the tragic death of the late Johannes Schippers has left us all disheartened. He was an honourable and dedicated comrade whose days were ended in a service to South Africans. Mr Schippers was a true example of the transition and the progressing democracy that South Africa has grown to be.
The MF takes this opportunity to extend its heartfelt condolence to the family and friends of the beloved Mr Schippers. We pray for God's guidance and tender hands over you all in this trying time. Let us all remember that God said:
My child, I send you but one way, and that is through your mother's womb. But the day I call you back, you will never know when, where and how.
That day, our brother did not even know whether he was going to return home or not.
We further extend our condolence to the ANC on the loss of an astounding, admirable member. We thank the hon Schippers for all his commitment and dedication in the progress of this democracy. May he rest in peace? I thank you. [Applause.]
Dr S E M PHEKO
Ms S RAJBALLY
Dr S E M PHEKO: Madam Speaker, I served with the hon Johannes Schippers on the Portfolio Committee on Defence for a considerable length of time. I travelled with him and other members of this committee to several places such as Simon's Town and the Saldanha Bay Military Academy. We watched the passing-out parades of our navy and air force cadets.
On many other occasions, we attended matters of national importance in the SA National Defence Force. We all together shared painful times such as when we lost our trainees at Lohatla. At some of these places, we travelled in military planes which are quite different from the comfortable civilian SA Airways. We discussed all sorts of subjects. I was therefore, shocked to hear about his sudden death in a car accident. It was as if lightning just struck next to me, because he was a colleague with whom I exchanged many ideas.
In the Defence committee, he was often quiet. But when he made his contribution, wisdom came out of his mouth.
The PAC sends its condolences to his family and relatives and, of course, to the ANC. Death remains a mystery to all mankind, whether they are theists or atheists. But those who believe in life after death have for ages sung:
But Lord, tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait. The sky, not the grave, is our goal. Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.
Mr L M GREEN
Dr S E M PHEKO
Mr L M GREEN: Madam Speaker, hon Ministers and members, the FD expresses its sincere condolence to the Schippers family and the ANC on the sudden death of a colleague of this House, the hon Mr Johnny Schippers. We realise that his death is an unexpected blow to his family, especially to his wife, children, grandchildren and family members.
The hon Mr Schippers was a valuable Member of Parliament who served his constituency with diligent readiness and was committed to his work in portfolio committees such as Safety and Security, Defence and Public Works. He was a dedicated community builder. Because of his hard work in his community, he was rewarded with the Witzenberg's man of the year award in 1993. Everyone knew him as a humble and committed servant of the public who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of ordinary people.
His family will go through a difficult time in working through the death of a loving husband, a dedicated father, a grandfather and a good friend. Our prayers are with you at this time. We pray that God's grace be your comfort as you go through this period of mourning. May his soul rest in peace? I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr P A GERBER
Mr L M GREEN
Mr P A GERBER: Speaker, it is a humbling honour for me to today pay tribute to a highly respected colleague of ours who tragically passed away last Saturday in a car accident in Wolseley, my constituency.
Johnny Schippers was born in a missionary station, Steinthal, in Tulbagh, and he completed his high school education at another missionary station, Genadendal. He then went to study for many years, qualifying from the Oudtshoorn training college as a teacher, eventually obtaining his Bachelor's of Arts degree from Unisa, his Bachelor's of Education from the University of the Western Cape, and he was busy with his Master's of Education degree at the University of Stellenbosch.
As was mentioned before, he spent 30 years in education, becoming a teacher and eventually a headmaster. He married Dorothea Apollis in Tulbagh in 1966 and they have two strong and big sons sitting in the gallery with her and their family. We welcome them.
Last Saturday morning started out like any other electioneering weekend for us as ANC MPs: Door-to-door for the whole day. All the Boland MPs were to board at 10 'o clock at the ANC regional office in Worcester. Comrade Cora, mayor John Goiama, and I were standing on the stoep when the phone call came through informing us that Comrade Johnny had been in an accident.
Unsure of where the accident happened, we jumped into my car and drove to the accident scene 40km away. Unsure of what happened to Comrade Johnny, the mood in the car was very sombre as all of us have stood next to the open grave of a loved-one at some stage in our lives. Our worst fears were confirmed when we got to the accident scene and were briefed by the police that Comrade Johnny was not with us anymore.
On the morning of his death, he went to the ANC regional office in Worcester to collect ANC pamphlets and money to buy food and petrol for the various teams of canvassers. The money, a couple of thousand rand in a brown envelope, his pistol, his wallet also containing cash, as well as his briefcase were all on him when the accident happened. We then, after we went to his family, went to the Wolseley police station on the way back to Worcester where we spoke to the police officer there. He informed us that everything that was with Comrade Johnny was with the police and would be handed over to the family. Not a single cent, the pistol, or anything got lost between the police, the ambulance staff, and the public who stopped there.
This is an incredible story, but is something we will never read in the newspaper because it is a good news story. All our thanks go to the Wolseley police and everybody else who helped at the scene.
I met Comrade Johnny more than 15 years ago when I was still the National Party youth leader and he an active National Party member. It was in the time that so-called Coloured people were joining the National Party with the likes of Gerald Morkel, Peter Marais, Cecil Herandien, Nick Isaacs, and those people.
Johnny became a National Party councillor for Tulbagh from 1995 to 1999. In that time we also put him on the list to come to Parliament. He was number one for a very long time, but every time that there was a vacancy and he had to go to Parliament, the then leadership found an excuse to put in a member from the old guard. Then, at one point, some of the seniors in the National Party went to the leadership and said enough is enough and that is when Comrade Johnny came to us here at Parliament. He had endured all that disappointment and frustration but never gave up.
His decision to join the ANC was not taken lightly. It was a decision he had to internalise for a long time, because he was never an opportunist. When he joined the ANC, he was so absolutely committed that he became an example to us of how to work harder and better. In the last election when he was still a National Party member, his region had the most for the then National Party.
His humility will always be with my memories of him. Being a leader in his town, Tulbagh, he remained living amongst the people and the children he taught. He never moved to a more expensive part of Tulbagh. He never smoked or used alcohol and what quite upset when his 36-year-old son told him recently that he sometimes takes a beer.
What struck me Saturday when we went to his house to sympathise with his family was his beautiful garden which is now, as we speak, full of flowers. It is as if the flowers are there especially for Johnny. We must ask ourselves: If we die today and our friends come to sympathise with our family, will there also be flowers in our gardens? Are we ready?
Johnny was a perfectionist. He, and everything about him, was always ready. Whether he was going to meet the President or whether he was going to meet his Maker, Johnny was ready. Johnny, a couple of weeks earlier, told his family that one day when he dies, he doesn't want any tributes. He didn't want people to stand there and tell how wonderful he was. We are grateful and thankful to the family for having allowed us to bend his wishes a little bit for us to have this today.
Ek wil graag die Griekwa-Psalm 23 vir u, as familie, vriende en kollegas lees:
Die Jirre is my skawagter... Hy sal my nooit verloor lat lê en al sil ek ok niks oor my hê nie en al wei ek wyd waarrie wind begin; Hy lei my na waterse tissenie deine in; Hy sit my siel in my lyf in trig; Hy breekslat slang se hoepelrig!
Soos Job gesê het in Vers 26:14 (b): Maar die volle krag van Sy dade, wie kan dit verstaan?
Aan u, van ons as die ANC, sy weduwee, Doreen, sy seuns, Branvill en Donovan, en hul gesinne op die gallery: In die lang gange van hierdie Parlement lê daar baie van Johnny se spore en dit sal altyd daar wees. Baie sterkte, en dankie dat julle hom vir ons geleen het. Dit was 'n voorreg om hom te ken. Dankie.
The SPEAKER: That concludes the speakers list on this matter. I take it that there are no objections to the motion being adopted. The Presiding Officers associate themselves with the motion. I now ask members to stand to observe a moment of silence in memory of the late Mr Schippers.
The condolences of the House will be conveyed to the Schippers family and to the African National Congress. I now recognise the Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party.
ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AD HOC JOINT COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER THE APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO THE NATIONAL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AGENGY BOARD
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, with leave, I move without notice:
That the House –
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES]
The House adjourned at 15:11.
No related documents