South Africa

Official category 1 funeral for Jackson Mthembu to take place on Sunday

Cape Town – The Presidency has confirmed Minister Jackson Mthembu’s funeral will take place on Sunday in his home town of Emalahleni in Mpumalanga.

Mthembu died of Covid-19 related complications and tributes have been pouring in since.

On Friday, Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said Mthembu will be given a Category 1 funeral.

“The State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy accords Official Funerals Category 1 to serving ministers,” he said. “The national flag will be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country from tomorrow morning, 23 January, until the evening of the day of the funeral on 24 January,” he said.

“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,” said Seale.

Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo also paid tributes to Mthembu. They described him as a committed lawmaker in his time in Parliament and the Cabinet.

They added he made an indelible mark in his work.

“In the passing of Mr Mthembu, South Africa has lost a passionate and fiercely vocal freedom fighter. He was a patriotic South African and a strong defender of constitutional democracy. He was a dependable reservoir of knowledge and wisdom, particularly on the workings of the legislative arm of the state, which he served for years at provincial and national levels in various capacities.

“In Mr Mthembu we could all rest assured that we had the most humble, passionate, loving, respectful, upright and outstanding servant. Words cannot begin to describe the devastating shock this sudden news has caused us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, kids and broader family during this extraordinarily sad time,” said Modise and Masondo.

The joint standing committee on defence also described Mthembu as a dedicated soldier.

“As chairperson of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), Mr Mthembu had committed to working with the committee to ensure effective oversight over the activities of the NCACC and, through it, the activities of the defence industry. His commitment to openness and transparency was guided by his deep belief that South Africa must conform to internationally accepted arms trade and transfer policies,” said co-chairperson of the committee Cyril Xaba.

The SACP said Mthembu made his mark from an early age with his involvement in student politics in the 1970s, to the union movement in the next decade and political struggles against apartheid.

Political Bureau

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