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'Chabane was an empowering and inspirational individual'

President Jacob Zuma has been speaking at a funeral service for late Minister Collins Chabane.

The family of late Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

LIMPOPO - President Jacob Zuma has described late Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane as an empowering and inspirational individual.

Zuma has been speaking at a funeral service for Chabane in his home village of Xikundu in Limpopo.

Chabane, along with his two bodyguards Lesiba Sekele and Mareme Lentsoane, died in a crash with a truck which was allegedly making a U-turn on a highway at around 1am on the N1 between Polokwane and Mokopane last Sunday.

Zuma says government and the ANC are devastated by his passing. He has remembered Chabane for his humility and visionary leadership, saying he served the ANC almost his entire life.

"Collins is one of the cadres of the ANC that was an all-rounder, a good soldier, a good commissar, a good commander, a brave man, but a thinking soldier."

WATCH: Remembering Collins Chabane.

Zuma says Chabane never allowed passion and emotion to stand in the way of reason.

"He was not doing his work to please anyone, he was doing his work as he understood it. Perhaps his personality and leadership style held him in good stead, allowed in difficult situations."

Zuma has called on public servants to improve the quality of their work in memory of Chabane.

"The way they died calls for us to reflect deeply on road safety. Drivers should observe the rules of the road. Maybe we should strengthen the rules and the punishment for those who break the rules.

"The carelessness on our roads cannot continue. Government alone cannot solve this alone. We must continue the struggle for a better life for all, in memory of Chabane. He has committed his entire life to that."

"We will miss him in cabinet, where he would raise very pertinent issues. Farewell freedom fighter, a dedicated servant of the people, a husband, a father and to me, a son."

Zuma has described Chabane as someone who rose through the ranks of the ANC, in the true sense of the word, to become a humble servant.

He says Chabane was tasked with measuring the performance of ministers and director generals in government and he did this without any fear.

"He made his colleague angry at times, but that was Collins, not doing his work to please anyone."

The president says Chabane's passion was to improve the experience of people who dealt with government officials on a daily basis.