Hundreds attend Padayachie’s funeral

2012-05-09 09:54

President Jacob Zuma has paid tribute to Public Service Minister Radakrishna “Roy” Padayachie, saying he was the product of a generation which wanted to work to chance society and not for their own enrichment.

Zuma told Padayachie’s official funeral in Durban today that Padayachie (62) had been a “friend and a person who I could depend on’’ who had dedicated his life to improving the lot of those around him.

Zuma said Padayachie had excelled in all four Cabinet portfolios – he also served in Communications as a deputy and full minister before moving to Public Administration – and had a tremendous work ethic.

“He was the kind of person who was happy to work in the background as long as work was being done. He never saw the need to market himself,’’ Zuma said.

“He never marketed himself as a potential member of the NEC or Cabinet. He was satisfied with the fact that the objective for which he struggled was being achieved,’’ Zuma said.

“Today we celebrate his selfless, outstanding contribution and how he suffered to bring about the democracy we cherish today. We can only be richer from borrowing from is legacy,’’ Zuma said.

During the service large sections of the crowd burst into songs punting a second term for Zuma as ANC president when the party goes to its elective conference in Mangaung in December.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan paid tribute to Padayachie’s discipline and commitment to work and a commitment to serve the people within the framework of the Congress movement.

Gordhan said Padayachie would be proud of being part of a generation that defeated apartheid and started building a democratic South Africa.

Padayachie had gone to Ethiopia despite being ill, behaviour which showed a commitment which provided a great example of how to act as a public servant.

A tearful International Relations Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma described Padayachie, who died in Addis Ababa at the weekend as a “beautiful human being’’ who had “left this world a better place than he found it.’’

Dlamini-Zuma said Padayachie was a generous and loving person, but also hard working, disciplined and moral man who had lived and worked honestly.

Several thousand mourners turned out for the state funeral, which was attended by the national and provincal cabinet and ANC leaders from around the country.

Members of his extended family and community mingled with ANC activists from around Durban, where Padayachie (62) had operated as a community and ANC activist since the age of 20.

His daughter Trevana Moodley said her family had been brought up to share their father with the ANC and the people of South Africa and loved him for his commitment to changing the world they lived in.

Members of Padayachie’s extended family and neighbours mingled with ANC leaders at the funeral.

The build-up for the state funeral began overnight, with Zuma and other ANC and government leaders arriving at the family home to pay condolences to Padayachie’s widow, Sally.

The stadium underwent security sweeps last night and this morning while three marquees were set up for the funeral, which being televised.

Security was tight with the bulk of the mourners queuing to access the stadium through metal detectors and the area around the stadium being cordoned off.

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