VETERAN human rights activist and ANC stalwart Laura Mpahlwa (90) will be remembered for her teachings of ubuntu and selflessness.

Mpahlwa , fondly known as aunt Laura, was a retired nurse and founder of Eluxolweni Children’s Home in Mthatha.

She died on Saturday of heart failure and old age.

Her son, Luyanda Mpahlwa (60), said his mum was not only his and their parent, but she was a mother to every child.

“When she was a nurse she would send patients who had been discharged to come here at home to recuperate. She did not only raise us but she raised friends and relatives as well,” he said.

Luyanda said his mother taught him the principles of ubuntu.

“My mum cared for everyone. She fought for the rights and dignity of people, expecting nothing in return.”

Luyanda’s neighbour, Sembi Danana (66), said he was practically raised by aunt Laura.

“To me she was a mother. All the values she taught us made me the man I am today. She dedicated her time to bettering the lives of people as a nurse and a community builder,” said Sembi.

Aunt Laura was the first boutique owner in Mthatha.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said: “As we mourn her death, we owe it to pioneers like her to work together to grow the province by transforming our economy, so that entrepreneurs benefit from the economic opportunities to create decent jobs for those unemployed.”

Aunt Laura’s funeral will be held on Saturday in Northcrest, Mthatha.