Jackson Mthembu’s Official Category 1 funeral to take place on Sunday

A memorial service will also be held at the GCIS Auditorium in Hatfield, in Tshwane, on Saturday.

FILE: Jackson Mthembu. Picture: @ANCParliament/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency has announced the late Minister Jackson Mthembu will be honoured with an Official Funeral Category 1 at his home in Emalahleni on Sunday.

A memorial service will also be held at the GCIS Auditorium in Hatfield, in Tshwane, on Saturday.

The minister in the Presidency passed away on Thursday due to COVID-19 complications.

READ: Remembering Jackson Mthembu - student activist to ANC's moral compass

In a statement, President Cyril Ramaphosa has requested that the national flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country from Saturday morning until the evening of the day of the funeral.

“Minister Mthembu contributed immensely to the liberation struggle as an anti-apartheid activist, student leader and unionist, for which he was subjected to harassment and detention by the apartheid security forces.”

GALLERY: Jackson Mthembu, hardworking minister, beloved father & husband

Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa is the latest to lend his voice to the growing list of tributes for Mthembu.

Kodwa, who succeeded Mthembu as African National Congress (ANC) spokesperson and worked alongside him in government, has penned an emotional tribute in honour of the late politician.

Minister Kodwa has put his thoughts to paper in honour of his colleague who he said liked to be called “the most handsome man”.

Kodwa goes on to explain how Mthembu planted the idea of him becoming ANC spokesperson in 2014 – this saw him quitting his job as a member of Parliament and succeeding Mthembu at Luthuli House.

“It was you Mvelase, that in later years when we both became Members of Parliament in 2014, you approached me and said ‘Ziziman as you know the ANC has no spokesperson, I think you should consider going to Luthuli House’.”

He describes the late Mthembu as a mentor and a dependable cadre of the ANC.

"I thank you for being a mentor, I thank you for your guidance, during the most difficult times I relied on you. No words can express how I feel now, but I will celebrate your life. Farewell, handsome man," Kodwa wrote.

Kodwa has told Eyewitness News that the past 24 hours have felt like fiction.

WATCH: Remembering Jackson Mthembu, moments from the archives

Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is also remembering Mthembu on Friday, saying she was shattered by his passing and would remember him for his kindness and generosity of spirit.

Meanwhile, the Media Development and Diversity Agency has lauded Mthembu for being an embodiment of the principle of ‘batho pele’ and consistently being accessible to those he worked with.

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