‘We had a role model’ – Govt officials celebrate Mthembu’s life at memorial
Various ministries gathered for a virtual memorial service for Mthembu - who died from COVID-19 related complications on Thursday.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s ministers and officials at government departments are on Monday celebrating the life of late Minister Jackson Mthembu – urging the country to keep his legacy alive.
Various ministries gathered for a virtual memorial service for Mthembu - who died from COVID-19 related complications on Thursday. He was laid to rest on Sunday.
Public Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu said Mthembu often fostered environments that allowed dialogue and prompted good governance.
Referring to the pandemic, he said Mthembu died fighting a war, calling on the country to adhere to protocols in the fallen activist’s honour.
“He was a very strong campaigner against coronavirus, the very same virus that claimed his life. In honour of his name and legacy, and for his death to not be in vain, I urge South Africans to heed government’s plea to wear masks, sanitise and maintain distance when we’re together.”
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said Mthembu was at the centre of communicating the new normal way of living to South Africans.
He described the late minister as a guiding light.
“We had a role model to look up to. His art of communicating complex government policies with ease or breaking down political lingo into easy and accessible language was unparalleled.”
WATCH: Jackson Mthembu memorial service
Deputy President David Mabuza has described the passing of Mthembu as the premature passing of a representative of a great generation that has left behind the gift of liberty and freedom.
Mabuza has echoed the sentiments of many others who say Mthembu’s passing was not only a devastating loss for his family - but for many more across political formations and different sectors of society.
Mabuza has described him as an exceptional bridge-builder and model of selfless public service and said Mthembu was mostly admired for his humanity.
“Despite personal adversities and tragic moments in his life, Minister Mthembu demonstrated amazing abilities to overcome pain and use his own experience to inspire hope in others.”
WATCH: Mabuza: Mthembu’s passing is an unforeseen grief shared by many
Several ministers including Naledi Pandor, Mchunu and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma also praised those who took to the streets of Mpumalanga to bid the province’s son a final farewell.
The African National Congress will on Monday afternoon line up former spokespeople and its treasurer general Paul Mashatile to honour the late activist and minister.