South Africa | Jackson Mthembu to be given an official funeral

The late minister, Jackson Mthembu, will be given an official funeral at his home in Emalahleni on Sunday, but it's expected to be a small ceremony.

"The memorial service and official funeral will take place in compliance with the applicable Disaster Management Act regulations," the Presidency said in a statement on Friday.

Under these regulations, not more than 50 people are allowed to attend a funeral.

Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa made a point of urging people not to attend funerals as these are often super-spreader events.

Mthembu died on Thursday from Covid-19-related complications.

The State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy accords Official Funerals Category 1 to serving ministers, the Presidency said.

The South African flag will be flown at half-mast from Saturday until the evening of the funeral on Sunday.

"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," according to the statement.

He was ANC spokesperson from 1995 to 1997 and from 2009 to 2014. He served as ANC chief whip in the National Assembly from 2016 to 2019. He was appointed minister after the 2019 elections.

There will also be a memorial service on Saturday at the Government Communications and Information Service auditorium in Pretoria.

Tributes continued pouring in for Mthembu on Friday - and those who worked with him in government departments were given the opportunity to pay their respects by driving past the family home in the afternoon.

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