Jackson Mthembu Dies of Covid-19 Complications

President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed the passing of Jackson Mthembu who passed away from COVID-19 related complications today.

The president released a statement a while ago to extend his condolences to the minister’s family and colleagues which read:

“It is with deep sorrow and shock that we announce that Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu passed away earlier today from Covid-related complications. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of loss. Minister Mthembu was an exemplary leader, an activist, and a life-long champion of freedom and democracy. He was a much-loved and greatly respected colleague and comrade, whose passing leaves our nation at a loss. I extend my deepest sympathies to the minister’s family, to his colleagues, comrades, and many friends.”

According to close friends to the deceased, the minister tested positive for Covid-19 on January 11 after showing some symptoms. He was apparently fine then drastically took a turn for the worst at 1 pm today.

Mthembu’s background:

The 62-year-old Minister in the presidency served the ANC at Parliament and Luthuli House. He was born in Witbank, now Emalahleni, in Mpumalanga in 1958. He began his political career as a student leader at Elukhanyisweni Secondary School in Witbank during the 1976 students’ uprisings and served in party structures in the 1980s in the fight against apartheid.

He was appointed MEC in Mpumalanga in the 1990s and later became Speaker in the provincial legislature. 

He was the national spokesperson of the ANC under President Nelson Mandela from 1995 – 1997, After getting deployed to Luthuli House, he became ANC national spokesperson from 2007 until he joined Parliament a few years later. He served as the Chief Whip of the ANC in the National Assembly from 2016 up to the end of the 5th term of parliament in 2019. After the 2019 national and general elections, he was appointed as the Minister in the Presidency.

Mthembu’s family life:

He has had his fair share of pain when it comes to losing the people that are close to his heart. In March of last year, he lost his eldest daughter, Khwezi Mthembu, who is believed to have committed suicide. She lost her life at the tender age of 25 years. 

The late renowned politician was a married man. He was previously married to the late Pinkie S. Jackson. He has four sons and two daughters.

May his soul rest in peace!


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