Afasa president Dr Vuyo Mahlati will be buried on Wednesday during a private ceremony with members of the public invited to a series of prayer and memorial services that will be held in her honour.
The 55-year-old Mahlati died earlier this week due to an undisclosed illness. Since the announcement of her death tributes have been pouring in from the farmlands to the Union Buildings.
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa described her death as “a great blow to the agricultural fraternity and to the country as a whole; more so at a time when much of our work around land reform is coming to fruition.”
The land reform champion, agripreneur and policy specialist will formally be laid to rest on Wednesday, 21 October 2020 following a funeral service at the Glen Methodist Church in Garsfontein, east of Pretoria. The service will commence at 10:00.
While seating at the funeral service is limited in the wake of covid-19 restrictions, mourners can participate in other events. The first prayer meeting was held on Friday night at the St Francis Anglican Church in Waterkloof, Pretoria.
Next-up is a memorial service on Monday, 19 October at 14:00 at Unisa. This service is hosted by the South African Women in Dialogue (SAWID) of which Mahlati was a trustee and chairperson of its development commission. On Tuesday, 20 October at 10:00 there will be another memorial service at the Pretoria Country Club.
The bereaved Mahlati family says they will, unfortunately, not be accommodating any visitors at their Pretoria home. Those wishing to pay their respects are urged to also use dedicated lines for messages of condolences. Messages can be sent to 061 419 2313 or 072 253 3353.
Although they will appreciate flowers and condolences, the family recommends those who wish to celebrate Mahlati’s life to instead make a donation in her name to SAWID.
Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize, national convenor of the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa, notes an earlier commendation in which Mahlati was described as the personification of “the idea of an African Renaissance woman”.
Mkhize says while working both practically and intellectually in the urban development, poverty reduction, gender equality and policy implementation spheres she was still committed to the ethos of ubuntu and care.
“Her humility and keen grasp of economic and development issues at the micro and macro levels made her one of Africa’s most persuasive leaders.”