South Africa

News24.com | SAFA's Danny Jordaan on the late minister Jackson Mthembu: He is a huge loss

Jackson Mthembu (GCIS - News24)

Jackson Mthembu (GCIS - News24)

South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan paid tribute to the late Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, saying that the former parliamentary chief whip was at the forefront of helping South Africa to cope with the Covid-19 onslaught.

Mthembu, who announced that he tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, died on Thursday from Covid-19 complications.

"I've known Mthembu for many years. He was a comrade and an activist. We were in parliament together. He was a special figure that stood out. He was a true South African and when we received the news, it was an extreme shock," Jordaan said.

"Within a few days, he was no more and we learn from the people who have passed on over the past few days. Many of them have passed on in a matter of three to five days. That shows that we must take extra care. I am the one who is talking, but I'm also the one who is flying up and down. One has to take what is happening very seriously."

Jordaan, who is the head of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) local organising committee that is currently taking place in Cameroon, said the world was focusing on South Africa with regards to how the country is responding to the Covid-19 second wave that's engulfed the country.

Jordaan said he has been testing constantly during his travels.

"When I was in Doha in Qatar, I had to be tested every day. I tested when I landed in Doha, where they took us away for testing. I asked why we were being tested every day and I was told that I'm from a high-risk country.

"I've had about 15 to 16 tests," Jordaan said. "When I went to Cameroon, I was stopped at the airport where I was tested. The next day, we had to test and before I left Cameroon, I had to test again.

"The eyes of the world are upon us, but we have the opportunity to show how to deal with the challenges we're facing. Jackson Mthembu was at the forefront of helping us to cope, and now he has become a victim. It's a sad day for us and a huge loss."

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