Minister in the presidency, Jackson Mthembu, laid to rest
The late minister in the presidency, Jackson Mthembu, has been laid to rest at Pretoria Memorial Park Cemetery on Sunday.
Mthembu died on Thursday, due to a Covid-19 related illness, becoming the first minister to succumb to the virus.
‘’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.’’ Said the presidency in a statement.
The late minister in the presidency was a member of the ANC national executive committee since 2007 and served as the ANC chief whip in the National Assembly from 2016 to 2019.
He was appointed as a minister in the presidency by President Cyril Ramaphosa after the 2019 general elections.
Delivering the eulogy, Ramaphosa says he was shocked, sorrowful and heartbroken when he received the news of Mthembu's passing.
‘’During the pandemic, he carried our message of compassion, solidarity and unity. Minister Mthembu was at the forefront of our national effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic; the very pandemic that has now claimed him. When we found ourselves close to despair, as a people and a nation, he offered hope. When our nation’s spirits were down and flagging, he lifted them up. ‘’ said President Cyril Ramaphosa.
‘’He brought clarity, certainty and the utmost professionalism to every task he was assigned. He has left a huge void in our government, in the movement to which he dedicated his life and in the country of which he was such a proud citizen.’’ He added.
Mthembu’s daughter, Thuli Mthembu spoke on behalf of his children, saying that her dad was, as she describes as ‘’a breath of fresh of air".
Thuli says the family is comforted by the messages of love and support from the public. She added that he was a joy to the rest of the world, as much as he was to them.
Deputy president, David Mabuza, is also expected to deliver the keynote tribute in honour of Mthembu at a memorial service which was postponed from Saturday to Monday, after consultation between the presidency and Mthembu’s family.
Done By: Mitchum George