The ANC has expressed its shock and sadness following the death of Jackson Mthembu.
Mthembu served as a member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), and a Minister in the Presidency.
“The death of Jackson Mthembu is a significant loss to South Africa and our movement.
“On behalf of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, we dip our revolutionary banner to this formidable South Africa patriot,” said ANC National spokesperson, Pule Mabe.
Mthembu died in hospital on Thursday morning, ten days after tested positive with COVID-19. He was 62.
Referred to with his clan name as Mvelase, Mthembu cut his political teeth as a young student during the 70s at Witbank, now eMalahleni, Mpumalanga where he was born.
Mthembu playing a role in the mass democratic movements including United Democratic Front and ANC underground structures in the then Eastern Transvaal.
In a statement on Thursday, Mabe said Mvelase became pivotal in setting up the structures of the ANC after its unbanning in 1990 under the banner of the National Reception Committee.
He said Mthembu had consistency and the ability to engage and win over even those who disagreed with him.
Mvelase excelled in the communications machinery of the ANC, serving as its National Spokesperson and the Chief Whip of the ANC in Parliament.
He excelled in his tasks as expected and did his work with diligence, commitment, and attention to detail.
“Mvelase’s contribution in the NEC was always aiming at a genuine exchange of ideas and finding solutions, always committed to improving the lives of South Africa’s people, including the poor and marginalized,” said Mabe.
Mabe described Mthembu as a revolutionary cadre who understood the importance of self-criticism, always willing to admit if he made mistakes and self-correct, saying people will remember him with his sense of humour, his firmness, and humility.
“In all the positions that he served over the years, as a young activist, civic and community leader, in the ANC and government as MEC in Mpumalanga, as a Member of Parliament, as ANC Chief whip, as Minister in the Presidency, he led with distinction and honour,” said Mabe.
The ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and comrades.
Hamba Kahle Mvelase, Lala ngoxolo Freedom Fighter.