Free State MP, Ouma Tsopo, laid to rest

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Free State parliamentarian and former Provincial Speaker, Mantsheng Ouma Tsopo, was laid to rest in Virginia in the Free State on Saturday. She was granted a special provincial state funeral by the Office of the President.

Free State Parliamentarian and former Provincial Speaker, Mantsheng Ouma Tsopo, was laid to rest in Virginia in the Free State on Saturday.
Tsopo died in a hospital in Welkom on New Year’s Eve after being admitted earlier. She suffered from diabetes.
The Free State requested, on behalf of family, friends, her colleagues and her political party, the African National Congress, a special provincial state funeral by the Office of the President for the final send-off of Tsopo.
This was granted and the president also ordered that the national flag be flown at half mast in the Free State on the day of the funeral.
Tsopo was described by many as a true leader, hard worker and an example to struggling women, young and old, of what could be achieved. She was further described as a lifelong teacher who started at the Naledi High School before joining the Masilo Town Council (Theunissen) as an administrator during the period 1988-1993.
Colleagues within the Free State Legislature described Tsopo as a balanced politician, constantly developing herself academically within the field of public administration. “She dedicated her life to serve the people of our country until the last day of her life,” said Free State Speaker, Mamiki Qabathe, in a statement.
As a public servant, Tsopo was deployed to various portfolios as a Member of the Free State Executive Council (MEC). She was the MEC for Education, Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Social Development, and Local Government and Housing. After 2009, Tsopo further served as a Member of the Provincial Legislature where she held the position of Deputy Speaker and then as Acting Speaker until she was formally appointed as Speaker in 2013.
Tsopo became a Member of Parliament during 2014 and served as the ANC’s Whip in Parliament responsible for Trade and Industry.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, described Tsopo as a true and exemplary leader and a person of substance. She said Tsopo was an example of how a leader could succeed as a major player within society.
Tsopo was also hailed for her contribution to programmes aimed at developing members of parliament and other politicians. – Andre Grobler 
andre@centralmediagroup.co.za