Deputy Speaker, Deputy President, hon Cabinet Ministers and hon members, I could have said to Sue that if I was a wine connoisseur, I would be thinking twice but I am not, so I will leave that to uncle Koornhof.
It is the great law of nature that dictates that we enter and at a later stage we exit. We have no choice. Subsequent to her resignation as a Member of Parliament, Ms Sue van der Merwe retorted in the press, "I remain a member of the ANC and I remain an elected member of the National Executive Council." This is hardly for the comfort of those who were already rubbing their hands with glee, in anticipation of welcoming into their party ranks a new and seasoned politician. [Laughter.] [Applause.] We have lost those who thought you would cross the benches. [Laughter.] In fact, I just heard from Minister Manuel that the Scots are winning.
Before she joined Parliament in 1996, Ms Van der Merwe cut her teeth in the struggle as the co-ordinator for the Black Sash advice office in Cape Town from 1988 to 1991; with the Mont Fleur Scenario Planning Exercise 1991- 1993; as the executive assistant for the Open Society Foundation for SA from 1993 to 1995; and as a member of the board of directors of UMAC, a nongovernmental organisation working in the Western Cape from 1992 to 2002. As a result, she brought into the institution of Parliament a tremendous wealth of experience, first through the parliamentary portfolio committees which she served on, namely: finance, communication, tourism, intelligence and even foreign affairs. She later became a parliamentary councillor to the President from 2001 to 2004. I cannot claim to know the importance of that designation, but I can only reflect on the memoirs of Clark Clifford, who was a legal counsel to the presidents of the US, including President Roosevelt, that the work entails advising, as a council, the President who went through meetings with some of the witty heads of state, the intelligent and even the brutal ones.
She then served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2004 to 2009. And again, I must say that we had the benefit of insightful briefings as the portfolio committee whenever she came to brief the committee; we felt very enlightened at all points. Thereafter, she served briefly as a member of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry.
I must say that when Sue served as a counsel to the President, we then started to work closer because at that time, the tradition was that the cluster of Ministers who were responsible for criminal justice were supposed to receive heads of state whenever they came to this country. We found out that Sue was the prime co-ordinator of the cluster in which I served together with the late Minister Steve Tshwete, former Minister Maduna, the late Minister Nhlanhla, Prince Buthelezi, former Minister Lekota and myself. Sue used to co-ordinate that cluster whenever the heads of state visited South Africa.
On behalf of the IFP, we salute your bravery and commend and laud you for your contribution to our democracy. It saddened us that you recently suffered at the hands of the ignorant few. Although we sit on opposite sides of this House, we now join with the rest of our colleagues to offer you our prayers of comfort, love and best wishes. I am sure there are many here who will miss you dearly.
We bid you farewell and wish you every success in your future endeavours. I thank you. Hamba kahle nkosazana. [Go well, madam.] [Applause.]