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Tributes have poured in for “Roy” Padayachie.
Luminaries from across the political spectrum, friends and relatives have expressed their appreciation for a man widely regarded as a hard-working politician, committed to the well-being of fellow citizens.
Padayachie’s cousin, Judge Thumba Pillay, said, “Roy was certainly a hard worker who died honourably while in the line of duty. His commitment and dedication to his portfolio was unwavering. I believe he overworked himself.
“But I’m proud of what he achieved and he will be sorely missed by people from all walks of life.”
eThekwini municipal speaker Logie Naidoo said his association with Padayachie went back nearly 30 years.
“I first got acquainted with Roy when we served together in the old Chatsworth Housing Action Committee and continued to work together in the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) and the United Democratic Front (UDF),” said Naidoo.
“Roy’s most outstanding trait was his intellect. He was a top debater of the UDF and NIC. His untimely death is not only a big loss for his family but the country.”
ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said he was deeply saddened by the news of Padayachie’s death.
“We are in an absolute state of shock and words cannot begin to describe the deep sadness that has engulfed all of us,” he said in a statement.
He said Padayachie was a talented, experienced and visionary government leader with an unmatched ability to adapt to whatever portfolio he was given.
“His commitment to the struggle for South Africa’s liberation saw him dedicate his life to service to the people.”
“Even in death he will remain the champion of the poor,” said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu in a statement to the media.
Cope spokesman Bongi Ndaba said Padayachie left behind a long track record of political service to South Africa’s people.
“We add our voice to the many in conveying our sincere condolences to his family, the ANC and all formations in which he served,” said Ndaba.
The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union said Padayachie’s death was a major blow to the alliance and the country in general.
“Padayachie’s death comes at a time when the nation is crying for hard-working and selfless leaders like him, and we were looking forward to working with him to improve public service,” spokesman Sizwe Pamla said.
DA national spokesman Mmusi Maimane said the minister was “an able and hard-working member of cabinet, who was always responsive and available to engage with the DA”.
”He will be missed in Parliament, in cabinet, and indeed by all who worked with him or under him in his long and distinguished career.”
In a statement released by the SACP, the party said Padayachie’s exemplary behaviour and commitment would continue to inspire generations of cadres to serve their people selflessly.