Death of Jackson Mthembu a loss for all South Africans, says Parliament, United Nations
Johannesburg - The death of Minister Jackson Mthembu was a loss not only to his family, but to the people of South Africa, said Boyce Maneli, the chairperson of the communications portfolio committee.
Mthembu, who was a minister in the presidency, died on Thursday due to complications related to Covid-19. He had tested positive for the virus about a fortnight ago, on January 11.
Maneli said Mthembu’s untimely passing was a loss for not only his family and friends, but to the Cabinet and employees of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).
Maneli described Mthembu as an advocate for community media, after the GCIS briefed the committee about plans to procure a Sentech line for community broadcasts.
“The passing on of Minister Mthembu has robbed not only his family, but the entire nation. We are left poorer without him. However, we are comforted by the indelible legacy that he is leaving behind, in both Cabinet and government communication. May his soul rest in peace,” said Maneli.
In Pretoria, the United Nations in South Africa also paid their condolences to the Mthembu family.
The UN said Mthembu had played a role to the Struggle movement as a student leader during the 1976 uprisings against the Apartheid regime.
Nardos Bekele-Thomas, the resident coordinator and head of the UN in South Africa, said she would remember Mthembu fondly for his sense of humour and his contribution to the liberation of South Africa.
“Minister Mthembu will be fondly remembered for his courage, empathy, loyalty, a sense of humour and depth of knowledge of the struggle for freedom in South Africa,” said Bekele-Thomas.
“We join the government and people of South Africa in mourning his tragic and untimely passing from this vicious virus that continues to take away our most dear and near. It is now more urgent than before that we remain united in the fight against this pandemic,” said Ms. Bekele-Thomas.