Free State Legislature Suffers Double Tragedy


The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Sunday announced the death of Free State legislature former speaker Ouma Tsopo.

As disclosed, the former speaker passed away in a Welkom hospital, but details about her death still remains sketchy.

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Former Speaker Tsopo served in various executive portfolios in the province’s government structures between 1994 and 2014.

In a statement, DA provincial legislature member Roy Janielson said: “The DA has learnt with sadness of the death of former Free State speaker, Ouma Tsopo.”

Janielson recalled that as speaker of the Free State legislature, she maintained the decorum of the House and ran the institution in a manner that earned her respect across party political boundaries.

The blue block also extended its condolences to the family of the current Speaker of the Free State Provincial Legislature, Mamiki Qabathe, whose two grandchildren drowned in an accident on Saturday.

The party urged Qabathe to take heart and sent its thoughts and prayers to the families and colleagues of the deceased.

Meanwhile, the DA on Monday hit back at accusations from the African National Congress (ANC) that Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga’s visit to Taiwan violated South African foreign policy.

In a statement from DA spokesman for international relations, MP Stevens Mokgalapa, the party said Msimanga’s visit to Taipei was aimed at “job-creating investment and not for fun as speculated.

Msimanga’s visit to Taiwan’s capital Taipei has continued to draw heavy criticism from opposition groups and rivals outside the Democratic Alliance (DA) rank.

The trip, as gathered, is being criticized because it reportedly breached the country’s foreign policies with China and also because Msimanga embarked on the trip against the government’s advice.

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Department of International Relations and Co-operation spokesman Clayson Monyela insisted that by going on the trip to that city, DA mayor Msimanga acted against South Africa’s upholding of the One China policy and that it contradicted the policy which recognised Beijing as the sole legitimate government of the People’s Republic of China.

An unfazed Msimanga, on the other hand, insisted that he honoured the invitation in order to foster and enhance development in Tshwane and South Africa at large.

Reports had it that the visit, sponsored by Taiwan, was organized by Taiwanese city’s mayor Ko Wen-je to explore possibilities for trade relations between the two cities.