Mourners watched as Cllr Miselwa Mido Matshaya’s coffin arrived at her home in Mayipase during her funeral on  8 August 2014. This marked the end of her journey in politics, a sister, friend and as a loving family member.

Matshaya joined Nkonkobe Municipality Council in 2011 as a ward councillor for ward 19. She also served as the secretary of the Zantsi Myoli ANC branch and was a member of the Middledrift Nucleus during the 2014 elections and also formed part of its constituency Management Committee. She also served diligently as a member of the Nkonkobe Whips Committee under ANC Chief Whip Cllr S Ngwentle.

All speakers at the funeral drew a picture of a person who loved to laugh, sing, socialise, a planner, had fashion taste and a true lady in her own right. One speaker said Matshaya was "always patient in any situation and hardly showed an angry face"; and that" she was soft-spoken even when handling thorny issues, and didn’t discard her beliefs for anyone. She loved her family and would do anything for them".

Passing an emotional tribute, her brother, Zamuxolo Matshaya could hardly contain his tears when speaking of his sister. He reminisced on all the times they had spent together, "always talking and advising each other".

Zamuxolo took mourners through a life of a sister who would spend time with her family, a sister who enjoyed doing her Higher Certificate in Public Administration with her fellow councillors. He finally thanked his sister for all she had done for him, the love she showered him with and all the friends he had come to know through her.

Giving a brief account of Mido’s service in council, Nkonkobe Mayor Cllr Anele Ntsangani said: “In council when we serve we get different people representing different needs of different communities and Cllr Matshaya showed her love for her community through her work. Her discipline showed how well her family raised her. She was always on time in all committee sittings. She was trustworthy and was never involved in any wrongdoing. Her road was blemish-less and we release her in peace."

Speaking on behalf of the ANC Amathole Region Comrade Teris Ntuthu said: “We have come here to bid farewell as death has visited us and took one of our own. We are here as the ANC because we have lost someone very dear to us and the heavens have gained. We are here because a stream of peace has dried out; the shadow of love has gone home; the keeper and planner of the community is no more."

He continued and said: "Let us say as umbutho wesizwe that Comrade Mido is in a better place. She has worked for the organisation whilst living and though we all have mistakes her achievements far outweighed them. Allow me to say your princess as the Matshaya family has represented you well until her death.”

Ntuthu, citing the late former president Nelson Mandela during OR Tambo’s funeral when he said, “I say OR Tambo has not died, because the ideas for which he sacrificed for his life can never die”. We also say as the ANC that Comrade Mido will never die whilst what she stood for and her work in the community still lives on.  

Written by: Cynthia Mokitimi