Modimolle mayor Marlene van Staden has died

The mayor of Modimolle—Mookgophong local municipality, Marlene van Staden, has passed away after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022.
The mayor of Modimolle—Mookgophong local municipality, Marlene van Staden, has passed away after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022.
Image: Facebook: Marlene van Staden

The mayor of Modimolle—Mookgophong local municipality Marlene van Staden has died. 

DA leader John Steenhuisen confirmed Van Staden passed away earlier on Thursday, after a long battle with illness. Van Staden detailed her battle with breast cancer last month, saying she was diagnosed in 2022.

“Aside from being the DA’s only mayor in 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.” . 

He said Van Staden is known for being instrumental in forging relationships with civil society organisations to better capacitate and improve governance.

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, he said.

“As one of the DA’s flagship mayors, Marlene was dedicated, resilient and a powerhouse of local government — her strength of conviction and 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,” Steenhuisen said. 

Van Staden is survived by her husband and two young sons.

“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 missed. Our deepest sympathies go to her family and friends during this difficult time,” Steenhuisen said. 

According to the DA website, Van Staden was born in Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal and she and her family have lived in Vaalwater, Limpopo, since 1989.

She matriculated at Hoërskool Nylstroom in Modimolle and attended the University of Pretoria where she completed a BCom degree, specialising in tourism management. She also held a postgraduate certificate in education and a BCom honours degree in business management, specialising in financial management, through Unisa.

Her first job was as a shop assistant at the Black Mamba Curio Shop in Vaalwater when she was in high school.

Her vision for the municipality was for it to be a clean, well-run municipality providing basic services to all residents. She also wanted to upgrade old infrastructure and create a work environment employees can be proud off.

On social media, tributes have been pouring in with people describing her as a hard-working mayor.




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