Obituary: Linah Malatjie will be remembered for her ethical leadership

Obituary: Linah Malatjie to be remembered for her ethical leadership
ETHICAL: eMalahleni mayor Linah Malatjie lost her life in a tragic car accident on the 2 Jan 2022 and will be remembered for her ethical leadership. PICTURE BY 013NEWS

“Selfless, ethical and visionary leader” are some of the words used to describe the late executive mayor of eMalahleni, Linah Masellane Malatjie.

She and her husband Essau Spetlela Malatjie died on 2 January 2020, in a head-on collision, when the car they were travelling in collided with a Ford Ranger bakkie.

Malatjie had just resumed her third term as mayor of eMalahleni local municipality following the 1 November 2021 local government elections.

Linah Malatjie started her career as an educator at Zidobhele Secondary School from 1986 to 1987 and between 1987 and 2001 she held the position of Deputy Principal at Elukhanyisweni Secondary School.

Even before becoming the executive mayor of eMalahlaleni, she had served the residents of Mpumalanga as a municipal manager in Emakhazeni local municipality and the executive mayor of Nkangala district municipality.

Before ascending to the office of the mayor, Malatjie was a unionist. She started as site-steward in the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) where she served as the education and gender convenor for the Greater Highveld region, where she later served as the provincial gender convenor.


Her first stint as mayor of Mpumalanga’s economic hub came in 2006 but she did not complete the term following a number of disciplinary processes that led to her finally being sacked.

Malatjie was the first mayor in the country to become a casualty of the party’s resolution that members who challenged it in court be dismissed after she took the ANC to court over her suspension.

In a statement, the Emalahleni local municipality said Malatjie was in a process of finishing the work of the service delivery turnaround strategy she was driving within the municipality.

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Nkangala region has also lauded her for the key role she played in stabilising the governance and systems in the City of Emalahleni “towards a financially sustainable Local Government institution”.

The eMalahleli local municipality said she will be remembered for her passion for Ubuntu Philosophy, Umuntu nguMuntu Ngabantu.

“The Municipal Baobab tree has fallen, her deep spiritual conviction and political moral compass were at the centre of her ethical leadership,” the statement read.

The ANC’s Nkangala regional spokesperson, Sello Matshoga said Malatjie will be remembered as a committed activist who served in various ANC structures. And as someone who belonged to a generation of post-apartheid activists who gave impetus to the struggle beyond the unbanning.

“Cader Linah’s passing leaves a huge void in the ANC and government,” said ANC’s Nkangala regional spokesperson, Sello Matshoga.

(edited by MGB)

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