Government saddened by MEC's death

2013-07-20 22:58
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel. (File, Sapa)

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel. (File, Sapa) (Werner Beukes)

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Johannesburg - Gauteng Economic Development MEC Nkosiphendule Kolisile served the country with excellence, dignity and integrity, government said on Saturday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time of bereavement," Government Communications and Information System spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement.

"Kolisile served our country with excellence, dignity and integrity and he will be sorely missed. He was indeed a great role model."

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said Gauteng had registered the largest rise in jobs over the past four years and Kolisile's role was acknowledged and appreciated.

"The tragic death of our colleague... Kolisile has robbed us of a dedicated leader who has been at the centre of economic development and a partner in small business development and youth employment," he said in a statement.

Earlier, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said Kolisile served with zeal and vigour.

Making way for ambulance

"As testimony to his passion for serving the poor... Kolisile recently handed over three houses to the elderly and people living with disabilities on Mandela Day [July 18]," an emotional Mokonyane told reporters in Johannesburg on Saturday.

He was participatory in thorny matters such as the liquor legislation, she added.

Kolisile was killed in a head-on collision with a truck in the early hours of Saturday morning on his way to a funeral in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape.

"We were told the MEC's vehicle was making way for an ambulance, when they went into on-coming traffic and collided with a truck," Mokonyane said.

Kolisile and his bodyguards Sergeant Tebogo Motsei and Constable Tshepo Jobo, died on the scene. Mokonyane said their families had been informed.

A delegation from the Gauteng executive council paid a visit to Kolisile's wife.

Condolences

The Gauteng Tourism Authority expressed shock at Kolisile's death and said he was a compassionate man.

"He was a vibrant lively personality, a true leader and team player and his energy and enthusiasm about the tourism sector potential unsurpassed," chairperson of the board of the Gauteng Tourism Authority Khehla Mthembu said.

"We have lost our compass in our journey towards an inclusive visitor economy driven destination Gauteng."

Meanwhile, Congress of SA Trade Unions sent condolences to the families and friends of Kolisile, Motsei and Jobo.

"At a time when economic development is such a priority for the government and the country, we shall greatly miss the comrade responsible for such a crucial policy area in the province which is South Africa’s economic heartland," spokesperson Patrick Craven said by statement.

Kolisile was humble and a hard worker, the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development said in a statement.

Hard worker

"As the committee, we are saddened to hear about the untimely death of Mr Kolisile whom we had excellent working relations... Thus, we would like to convey our sincere condolences to the families and friends of Mr Kolisile, his driver and bodyguard.

"Mr Kolisile was a humble and remarkable hard worker who was always supportive to the work of our Committee to ensure economic development in the country," committee chairperson Mmathulare Coleman said in a statement.

Kolisile took office in July 2012 and previously served on the national steering committee which re-launched the Young Communist League in 2003.

He would be given a provincial official funeral.

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