Parliament, Saturday, 04 July 2020 - The Presiding Officers of Parliament, led by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr Amos Masondo mourn the passing of Ms Mary Twala this morning.

Ms Twala, 80, affectionately known as Mama Mary, was a legendary and veteran actress as well as a great source of inspiration to many South Africans. Her career spanned over six decades; from humble beginnings when acting was not recognised as a professional career, to a widely celebrated and revered thespian. With her passion, humility and infectious energy for the performing arts, Mama Mary made immeasurable continuation to the arts and successfully carried many artists through all the years.

For her contribution in the performing arts and for creatively raising awareness for women issues through storytelling, President Cyril Ramaphosa bestowed her with the National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2019.

“Ms Twala has made a remarkable contribution to South Africa in general and the performing arts in particular. Through the arts, she told a story of South Africa's society and exposed the bad, the good and the ugly of our daily lives through the various phases of our nation's history. Against all odds, Mama Mary persevered and pursued a remarkably successful career despite the conditions of apartheid brutality and a highly competitive and exploitative sector,” said Presiding Officers, Ms Thandi Modise and Mr Amos Masondo.

“As a nation, your undying spirit and energy for the stage will forever be etched in our minds. We will forever be indebted to your love, dedication, sacrifice as well as the hope and determination you inspired, not only in the performing arts sector but in all of us”, they added.

South Africa is left poorer without such an accomplished artist, a voice of the voiceless, a defender for women's rights and remarkable patriot.

The Presiding Officers extend their heartfelt condolences to her family, colleagues and friends.

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