Motion Of Condolence For The Hon. J Schmidt MP

 

Statement By Connie Zikalala MP
 

National Assembly: 18 February 2010

 

Honourable Speaker,

 

It is with utmost sadness and shock that the IFP learned of the untimely passing of the late Honourable Jacobus Schmidt, at the end of last year.

 

Although the late Honourable Schmidt was only a member of this fourth Parliament for a relatively short period of time, he made a significant impact in the committee he served on.

 

Mr Schmidt, as the DA's shadow Deputy Minister of Energy, exposed Eskom's failure to address the critical shortcomings within the parastatal. He played an active role in the portfolio committee and it quickly became clear that Mr Schmidt had a passion for energy matters and that he was fully committed to serve the people of South Africa by holding the executive to account.

 

Before joining us during this fourth Parliament, Mr Schmidt was a constituency MP in the Southern Free State, where he is known to have served his community with dedication and vigour; but he will most probably be remembered for his momentous work as a teacher.

 

In 1993 Mr Schmidt became a teacher at the Concordia Secondary School in Theunissen. This school was started to educate underprivileged black children in a conservative white community. Along with the other pioneers of the Concordia School, Mr Schmidt received acclaim for his teaching work in previously disadvantaged communities. In 1996 he was promoted to the Deputy Principal of the Reseamohetse Primary School and, with the help of the management team and under his exceptional leadership, the school became the best performing primary school in the Free State for four consecutive years.

 

It is clear that Mr Schmidt had a passion for people; he was a true leader and he worked tirelessly for a better South Africa for all, whether here in Parliament or back home in his constituency.

 

The IFP conveys its heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Honourable Schmidt and the Democratic Alliance.

 

 

I thank you.