Zuma hails Chabane as hard-working man with a sharp, incisive mind

2015-03-21 15:36

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President Jacob Zuma says Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane’s burial coinciding with Human Rights Day is symbolic.

“He is laid to rest on Human Rights Day, which on its own symbolises his unwavering commitment to the entrenchment of the human rights culture in our country,” Zuma told mourners at Chabane’s funeral in Xikundu, Malamulele, in Limpopo, today.

Delivering Chabane’s eulogy, Zuma hailed Chabane as a hard-working man with a sharp, incisive mind.

He was shocked by news of Chabane’s passing last week.

“I still recall how shaken I was when I heard that Comrade Collins Chabane was no more, to the extent of phoning his wife around 5am only to find that the news had not yet been broken to her.”

Chabane and Sergeants Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane were killed on Sunday morning when a truck allegedly made a U-turn in front of their car on the N1 between Mokopane and Polokwane in Limpopo.

Zuma said the manner in which Chabane and the two officers died called for the nation to reflect on road safety.

“The carelessness on the roads cannot continue in this manner,” he said, adding that government could not solve the problem alone.

Zuma said he was among those who recruited Chabane to the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, during the years of the struggle. “He displayed amazing maturity and determination,” said Zuma.

As Chabane served in numerous roles in government, he performed his duties with determination and diplomacy.

“He was able to get the work done and to obtain support and understanding,” Zuma said.

Chabane was also tasked with organising the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela in December 2013.

“Minister Chabane endeared himself to all of us by the manner in which he arranged the funeral of President Mandela,” Zuma said.

“He led the inter-ministerial committee on state funerals capably and effortlessly, and pulled out all stops to give Madiba a befitting send-off. Sadly, here we are today, bidding him farewell, so soon after Madiba.”

Zuma described Chabane as a calm man who never allowed emotion and passion to stand in the way of reason.

“He had good plans about taking the department and the public service forward, and we all have a responsibility to take his vision forward,” Zuma said.

“His passion was to improve the functioning of frontline service department and the performance of staff who deal with the public directly.”

Zuma called on those who dealt with the public to follow in Chabane’s steps and serve people with dignity, respect, courtesy, efficiency and speed.


For the full funeral programme, click here.

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