Zuma sends condolences to Shiceka family

2012-04-30 17:19
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has sent his condolences to the family of former co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Sicelo Shiceka, who died on Monday.

"On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, we wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family, relatives and friends," Zuma said in a statement.

"We will... miss his energy, as he was a remarkable hard worker and his impact was greatly felt in the local government turnaround strategy as well as his contribution to the struggle from the early 1980s."

Shiceka died at St Mary's private hospital in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape, on Monday morning, following a long illness.

Political parties expressed sadness over the death. The ANC said he worked tirelessly for the country's liberation.

"He has made his lasting contribution by not only fighting for liberation, but also through his contribution in government," spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

Zuma sacked Shiceka as a minister in October after he was implicated in wrongdoing by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. She found Shiceka had racked up more than R1m in travel costs for himself, his staff and friends, in violation of the executive ethics code.

Sick leave

The expenses included a trip to Switzerland to see a girlfriend jailed on drug-related charges. At the time, Shiceka denied any wrongdoing and vowed to contest Madonsela's findings in court. He continued serving the ANC as an MP, but had been on sick leave since February 2011.

Shiceka, 45, was appointed as co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister in Zuma's Cabinet on 11 May 2009.

He also served as provincial and local government minister in then president, now Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's Cabinet from 25 September 2008 to 10 May 2009.

"The ANC would like to convey to the family and friends our condolences. We want to assure them that their loss is our loss," said Mthembu.

The Democratic Alliance said it was saddened by Shiceka's death.

"While we differed with him from time to time, we never underestimated the extent to which he loved South Africa and its people," DA national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.

"In Setswana there is a message of condolence that is our message to the Shiceka family today: ba lelapa la kwa Shiceka, le sa lele ja ka ba senang tshepo. Modimo keo. [To the Shiceka family, they must not cry as ones without hope. May God be with them]."

Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota said: "[Cope] extends... its deepest condolences to the Shiceka family, friends and relatives and wish to reassure them that we are with them during this trying time.

"Our condolences go to the ruling party."

Earlier, Shiceka's family said they were shocked by his death.

"It's quite sad for the family... we are shocked with the untimely death of our brother," family spokesperson Justice Zotwa said.
Read more on:    sicelo shiceka  |  jacob zuma ­  |  local government

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