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President Ramaphosa lauds Dr Xuma as an exemplary leader

Mar 9, 2020
President Ramaphosa lauds Dr Xuma as an exemplary leader

Centane - One of the first African South Africans to become a medical doctor, Dr Alfred Bathini Xuma, has been described as an exemplary leader who believed that neither race nor social circumstance should be a barrier to medical care.

Dr Xuma, who passed away in January 1962 in Johannesburg was buried at the Brixton cemetery and was reburied on Sunday at his birthplace in KwaManzana village, Engcobo.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy at the reburial, where he remarked that Dr Xuma’s calls for social reform particularly in the medical sector will soon be realised through the National Health Insurance (NHI).

“It is of great significance that our nation will soon see some of the social reforms that Dr AB Xuma championed for most of his life. 

“For the first time in the history of our country, every South African man, woman and child will have equal access to health care when the National Health Insurance becomes reality,” said the President.

The President declared a Special Official Funeral Category 1 for the reburial of the Dr Alfred Bathini Xuma following the request by the Eastern Cape Provincial government.

Born into a time of widespread racism and discrimination against the community of Engcobo in the Eastern Cape, Dr Xuma rose above the strictures of colonialism and apartheid to undergo western medical training in the United States of America and Europe.

Dr Xuma was able to attain his education with the aid of supportive white Americans who gave rise to his enduring belief in multiracial partnerships and propelled him to become an advocate of racial integration and equal medical education for Africans.

International Women’s Day

With Dr Xuma’s reburial coinciding with International Women’s Day, President Ramaphosa used the opportunity to affirm government’s commitment to making women full and equal participants in the economy.

Upon assuming chairship of the African Union, South Africa noted the fight against Gender Based Violence as well the empowerment, financial and economic inclusion of women as its key priorities.

“We will forge ahead with implementing policies and programmes that give effect to this, whether it is in reforming public procurement laws to ensure more beneficiaries are women, in ensuring that the rights of women are protected when it comes to ownership of land, or being firm in our resolve to stamp out gender-based violence,” said the President.

President Ramaphosa called on the community of Engcobo to take women’s empowerment into their hands, stressing the domino effects of empowering women.

“We know that here in Engcobo women face many challenges and life is hard. We know that empowering a woman is empowering a family, a community and a nation,” said the President. – SAnews.gov.za