Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, let me greet Sue Van der Merwe, J P and Caroline, sitting there with her. I do not know how to address you now, Sue. Are you the former hon, or citizen Van der Merwe? I am honoured to have the privilege of making this farewell speech to my comrade and friend, Sue, today. It does, however, feel a little bit strange that we are experiencing the voluntary departure of someone this young.
I got to know her better when we worked together on the Mont Fleur Scenario Planning Exercise, and that was from 1991. I think the hon Leader of the Opposition will realise that dates us a bit. We have worked together as Members of Parliament, as members of the executive, as members of the National Executive Committee of the ANC and as friends. This means that we have seen through at least four national and provincial election campaigns, the same number of local government campaigns, a number of by-elections and of course, hundreds of meetings.
One of the attributes that Sue has always brought into everything she did is that of laughter. For example, during election time, we would be sent off to campaign in various parts of the country. I would be deployed to places like the metropolis of Springbok and Sue would be sent to a place like Spoegrivier or Leliefontein. [Laughter.] She would love every moment of it. She never saw it as a punishment. She laughed about it, she loved it, she loved the stories people told her and she loved engaging with people. Perhaps she secretly enjoyed the amazing honour of being "die Van der Merwe tannie van die ANC" [he Van der Merwe aunt of the ANC.]. [Laughter.]
The second attribute that she has always had is that of approachability because she embraced people with warmth, consistency and an ear to listen to the issues that they wanted to raise. That combination of patience and warmth is what draws people to her. I suppose it is the effect of the many things that she modelled her life on - from doing her work seamlessly in the Black Sash to being a member of the National Executive Committee of the