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Former MEC of education laid to rest

By Maanda Mulaudzi

Thousands of mourners from Swaziland, other provinces in South Africa and Limpopo paid their last respect to the late Ms Thembisile Nwendamutswu. She is the former MEC for Education in Limpopo who passed on in Pretoria on 09 January 2014 at the age of 55. Her Provincial official funeral service was held at the University of Venda on 17 January 2015.

She was criminated at Polokwane in a private family ceremony. She is survived by her loving husband Mr Mamabolo Nwendamutswu, four children (Two sons and two daughters), seven Grandchildren, three sisters, two brothers and Mother in law. She was born in Swaziland in 1960 where she got married to Mamabolo Nwendamutswu from Matangari, in Vhembe District.

Premier Stanley Mathabatha described the late MEC Thembi as a woman of substance, quality and high repute. He said that in every task she was entrusted with, she distinguished herself with meticulous skill and commitment. She served as the MEC for Education for a period of seven months.

Mr. Mathabatha said that in her former post as the Chief Executive officer of the Independent Development Trust (DTI) Ms Nwendamutswu succeeded in turning around the organisation into a highly respected and world class agency for development, boasting 10 consecutive unqualified audits during her tenure.
Among her other strong traits, Ms Nwendamutswu had strong policy analysis, development and implementation experience. As the Deputy Director General at the National Department of Social Development responsible for the National Poverty Relief Programme, she successfully developed and delivered on major policy directives. The Poverty Relief Program (PRP) had rolled over its funds for three years when she took it over and succeeded to turn it around. She was understandably proud that 4% of these projects recently graduated into substantial business enterprises with the DTI.

She worked at the Office of the Premier in Limpopo, responsible for the Human Resource Development (HRD) Unit which entailed the transformation and amalgamation of three Bantustans of Gazankulu,Venda, Lebowa and the Transvaal Provincial Administration(TPA). She launched the first Performance Standards Manual in the country spearheaded by SAMDI (South African Management Development Institute), under the auspices of the Public Service Commission.

Nwendamutswu also served people of Mpumalanga, where she was appointed as the Head of the Department (HOD) of social Development. Her primary task was to transform the Department of Welfare into the Department of Social Development. This Department was newly established, having been separated from the Department of Health. This was a very challenging period, however, as was in her nature, Thembi took the challenges in her stride and successfully established and stabilised the department.

In addition to her demonstrated executive and public sector leadership capabilities, Ms Nwendamutswu had a wide range of business qualifications, including a Business Administration Diploma from the University of Swaziland, an Advanced Diploma in Accounting from the Institute for Finance Management in Tanzania and a Master in Policy Studies from the SARIPS Policy Institute, Zimbabwe.