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Padayachie was gallant, Mogoeng says

2012-05-08 21:53

Johannesburg - Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachie served South Africa with "gallantry", Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said on Tuesday.

"His untimely departure will leave an emptiness that will be hard to fill and we hope his selfless service and contribution to building a united, just and truly free South Africa will be remembered by many generations to come," he said in a statement.

"Observing from a distance, Minister Padayachie struck me as someone who served our country with laudable gallantry and great distinction."

Padayachie, 62, was found dead in his hotel room in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia by a colleague on Friday evening. He had been attending a meeting of the African Peer Review Mechanism.

He joined the public service and administration ministry in October. He was minister of communication and before that the deputy minister of public service and administration.

Mogoeng said the only official meeting between him and Padayachie was during a discussion on the panel that would interview the head of the office of the chief justice.

"He, in consultation with Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, responded positively and with great speed to our proposal that contrary to the norm, the panel should comprise more members of the judiciary than of the executive, in support of the independence of the judiciary."

Padayachie's remains arrived back in South Africa on Saturday afternoon.

His official funeral will take place at the Sahara Kingsmead Stadium in Durban at 11:00 on Wednesday. His body will be cremated at the Clare Estate Crematorium at 15:00.

Condolence books for members of the public who wish to send messages have been placed at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and at Tuynhuys in Cape Town, the presidency said on Monday.