South Africa mourns Minister in The Presidency Jackson Mthembu who died from COVID-19

South Africa on Friday continued to mourn Minister in The Presidency Jackson Mthembu who died from COVID-19 on Thursday.

“It is with deep sorrow and shock that we announce that Minister in The Presidency, Jackson Mthembu passed away earlier today from COVID-related complications,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of loss. Minister Mthembu was an exemplary leader, an activist and life-long champion of freedom and democracy. He was a much-loved and greatly respected colleague and comrade, whose passing leaves our nation at a loss.  I extend my deepest sympathies to the Minister’s family, to his colleagues, comrades and many friends,” the president added.

The late Minister in The Presidency Jackson Mphikwa Mthembu will be honored with an Official Funeral Category 1 at his home in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, on Sunday, January 24, 2021.

The State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy accords Official Funerals Category 1 to serving Ministers in South Africa.

The National Flag will be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country from, January 23, 2021, until the evening of the day of the funeral on January 24, 2021.

The South African presidency said: “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.”

“He occupied several strategic and leadership roles in the democratic South Africa. He served the African National Congress (ANC) as its spokesperson from 1995 to 1997 and from 2009 to 2014.

“He contributed to the development of South Africa’s democratic constitution and served as an MEC in Mpumalanga.

“He has been a member of the ANC National Executive Committee since 2007 and served as the ANC’s Chief Whip in the National Assembly from 2016 to 2019. He was  appointed as Minister in The Presidency after the 2019 general elections.”

Deputy President David Mabuza will deliver a keynote tribute at a memorial event on Monday, January 25, 2021.
 
The memorial event was originally planned for Saturday, January 23, but was postponed following consultation between The Presidency and the late Minister’s family.
 
The Official Funeral Category 1 in honor of the Minister will proceed – as previously announced by The Presidency – at 09h00 on Sunday, January 24 in the Minister’s home town of Emalahleni, Mpumalanga.
 
President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy at the funeral which will take place with strict adherence to the COVID-19 regulations pertaining to funerals and the prohibition on public gatherings.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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