Condolences are pouring in after one of the well-known former ANC members of Parliament and EFF member, Anthony Tony Marais, passed away on Sunday.
Marais had at the time of his death been a pensioner after retiring from a position he held at the EFF due to ill health. Before joining the EFF in 2013, he served in various portfolios within the ANC structures and was a member of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) based in Cape Town.
Many of his friends and colleagues have taken to social media platforms to express shock and sadness at his passing, stating that he was a compassionate, genuine leader who fought against the plague experienced by the masses.
The community of Heidedal where he lived with his wife, Paulnita Marais, who is an EFF Councillor within the Mangaung Metro Municipality, and their children, gathered at his house this afternoon to pay respect to the struggle stalwart and support his family during this difficult time. EFF Provincial Chairperson, Mandisa Makhesini, told OFM News the community of Bloemfontein, the party and the province at large are at great loss without him.
Marais’ wife, Paulnita Marais told OFM News that her husband was a very principled man and that he was selfless when it came to fighting for the rights of people. She says right up until the end her husband stood by what he believed in, and he was a father figure for every individual that crossed his path. She said that all the children in their street referred to him as daddy because they knew him as a provider.
She said that she did not just lose her partner and friend, she also lost her everything and that the next few months are going to be difficult for her. According to her, Marais also guided her and showed her right from wrong.
Meanwhile, the funeral service of Tony Marais will be this coming Sunday at Heide Primary School.
Katleho Morapela and Sazly Hartzenberg / OFM News