Mthembu hailed as people’s person as he is laid to rest

Thabisile Khomo

THE late Mpumalanga-born anti-partheid activist and Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu (62), was highly praised for his loyalty and excellent work ethic at his funeral service on Sunday

Delivering the eulogy at the Roman Catholic Church in Emalahleni where the funeral service was held, the President Cyril Ramaphosa, said Mthembu was a great and loyal servant of the people.

The emotional Ramaphosa told the mourners that a great shadow hangs over Mpumalanga province, and the entire country.

“For those who knew Mthembu, those who relied on him, lead by him and learnt from him, it is unbearable that we will never see him again. The Coronavirus has caused so much sorrow in our societies. So many lives have been lost,” he said.

Mthembu was described as one of the leaders who have been at the forefront of the national effort to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

“His spirit and work will carry on. He was one of our heroes, finest public servants and greatest patriots. I thank all health workers who did the best they could, to help save his life,” he said.

To the deceased’s widow, Thembi Mthembu, he said: “I wish you remain with a memory that your husband lived his life for you and the rest of country. Allow him to rest in peace. He has run his race.”

Mthembu, who was accorded category one official funeral, died at Milpark hospital in Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon after allegedly battling health complications related to Covid-19.​

The news of his passing were announced on the same day in the afternoon. A nurse who assisted him at the hospital Mavis Mahlakoane also delivered a speech, describing Mthembu as calm and friendly​ person who would get along with anyone with absolute ease.

Like many renowned politicians who have made it to the top, Mthembu has a very rich political history.

He was laid to rest at Old Pretoria road cemetery in Emalahleni.

Although high profile personalities and leaders from different political parties and other organizations came to bid farewell to the deceased, all the Covid-19 restrictions were adhered to.

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