Shiceka hailed at funeral

2012-05-12 18:25

ANC leaders yesterday lined up to defend former cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Sicelo Shiceka from those with “heavy logs in their eyes”.

A memorial service for Shiceka, who died aged 45 on Monday morning, was held at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg.

He was given a state funeral.

Speaking during the service, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga, said that in his “entire political life Shiceka never embarrassed the organisation by going into a fit when things did not go his way”.

Motshekga said those who knew the “worth of Shiceka feel more poor now that he has been lifted into the world beyond, where he will feel neither the pain nor scorn of those with heavy logs in their eyes”.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi, who took over Shiceka’s portfolio after Zuma dismissed him last October, said Shiceka was “fallible in life and capable of making mistakes, like we all do”.

The public protector determined that Shiceka had spent more than R1 million in irregular travel expenditure during his time as a minister, which included a visit to a girlfriend facing drug-related charges in a Swiss prison.

Shiceka’s death was attributed to a “long illness”.

His family doctor, Bongiwe Mbuwakho, spoke at the service, saying that Shiceka had “shown tremendous courage and will to conquer the sickness”.

Shiceka’s grief-stricken daughter, Bonolo, said: “I will miss his smile, his random jokes and his warm hugs.”

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