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Staff Writer

The SADC Parliamentary Forum has expressed profound sadness following the passing on of former diplomat and Member of Parliament Nora Schimming-Chase.

In a statement, SADC PF Secretary General, Dr Esau Chiviya offered "deepest condolences" to the Government and people of Namibia as well as the entire Schimming-Chase family.

"A respected diplomat and fearless advocate of the rights of women and girls, Hon Schimming-Chase diligently served as Vice-Chairperson of the SADC PF from 15th November 2006 to 27 November 2008. Whenever she presided over the Plenary Assembly Session in place of the Chairperson, she did so with unrivalled eloquence and firmness," Chiviya said.

The SG said Schimming-Chase once served, also, as a Member of the HIV and AIDS Standing Committee of the SADC Parliamentary Forum from June 2006 to November 2008.


SADC PF Secretary General, Dr Esau Chiviya"Overall, she devoted a lot of her time and energy furthering the ideals of SADC PF. Namibia and indeed the continent have lost a steadfast advocate for human rights. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those whose lives were positively impacted by this great woman. Her passing on is a major loss," he said.

His Royal Highness Prince Guduza, the former Speaker of the National Assembly of Swaziland, who also once served as chairperson of the SADC PF expressed "great shock and a deep sense of sadness" following Schimming -Chase's death.

"I recall with gratitude how much of a very wise and intelligent person she was. She added value to the very many important tasks that the SADC PF had charged us with," HRH Guduza said in a statement.

He said the late Schimming-Chase supported ongoing efforts to transform the SADC PF into a Regional Parliament. He added that she a stickler for optimal use of scarce resources at the Forum and cherished peace and tranquillity.

"She was instrumental in motivating Presiding Officers (Speakers) from various countries that are represented in the SADC PF, to go on a goodwill mission and ascertain that the government of Zimbabwe was operating in conformity with the guidelines and dictates of the Government of National Unity (GNU.)"

HRH Guduza said the former diplomat had remarkable leadership qualities, exuded authority and diligently presided over the Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC PF whenever she acted as Chairperson.

"She was an extraordinarily brilliant and gifted person."

Botswana’s former MP Ambassador Duke LefhokoBotswana's former MP Ambassador Duke Lefhoko, described the late Chase as "the embodiment of kindness, resoluteness, candidness, excellence and diplomatic finesse."

He said" "She was endowed with the true lion heart trait that I find common among women rather than men."

He added that Schimming-Chase was a brave woman.

Amb Lefhoko worked with her within the SADC PF when he was Treasurer and subsequently Vice Chairperson of the Forum.

"We participated together in some Election Observation Missions in the SADC Region. She was meticulous at work."

He recalled that Schimming-Chase was deeply hurt and shed a tear when the Executive within the SADC Region "dealt the SADC Tribunal a fatal blow."

He said Schimming-Chase was a "true democrat" and said her passing on was a loss not only to Namibia, SADC and Africa, but the rest of the world.

"She possessed a rare trait of being an avid listener and a leader in conversation," he concluded.

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