It is with immense sadness that the Democratic Alliance learned of the tragic passing of Modimolle-Mookgophong Mayor, Marlene van Staden, earlier today after a long battle with illness.
Aside from being the DA’s only mayor in the province of Limpopo, Marlene was a trailblazing politician and pioneering public servant who overcame tremendous obstacles in the Modimolle-Mookgophong municipality to bring better government to all who live there.
Marlene was deeply loved by her party, her province, and her caucus where she was an incredibly dynamic and forthright Mayor who lived and breathed the DA’s values and principles.
Marlene Van Staden is known for being instrumental in forging relationships with civil society organisations to better capacitate and improve governance.
In many ways, she created the blueprint for the DA’s whole-of-society approach to governance which has the potential to change the face of South African government in its entirety.
As one of the DA’s flagship mayors, Marlene was dedicated, resilient, and a powerhouse of local government – her strength of conviction and sheer determination softened by a wonderful sense of humour and gentle kindness.
As a person, Marlene was infectiously buoyant and optimistic, with a can-do attitude and admirable lust for life. There was no task that she did not undertake with immense passion and a sense of genuine and heartfelt goodwill.
Her friends, family, and colleagues will remember her as a true go-getter and an individual who could light up a room even in the darkest of times.
Marlene is survived by her husband and two young sons, and our deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends during this very difficult time.
Marlene touched the lives of many, and will live on as a true example of a dedicated public servant, a loving wife and mother, and true friend. She will be sorely, sorely missed.