Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu dies of Covid-19-related complications

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu died of Covid-19-related complications. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu died of Covid-19-related complications. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images via Getty Images)


On Thursday the presidency confirmed the passing of Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, who was 62.

In his statement, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “It is with deep sorrow and shock that we announce that Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu passed away earlier today from Covid-related complications.”

His passing comes after presidency spokesperson Phumla Williams announced on January 11 that Mthembu was the fourth member of the executive to test positive for Covid-19.

According to Williams, Mthembu had taken a Covid-19 test earlier that same day after showing some symptoms. “As per the Covid-19 regulations, Minister Mthembu and those who have come in contact with him will immediately self-quarantine.”

At the time, Mthembu himself tweeted: “Today I visited the military hospital in Tshwane to get medical attention for abdominal pain. After undergoing tests, I tested positive for Covid-19. Plans are afoot to get all my family members and close associates tested as well.”

Ramaphosa extended his condolences to Mthembu’s family, saying his thoughts and prayers were with them at this time of loss. “I extend my deepest sympathies to the minister’s family, to his colleagues, comrades and many friends.”

READ: ‘We are a caring government’

He described Minister Mthembu as “an exemplary leader, an activist and life-long champion of freedom and democracy”.

“He was a much-loved and greatly respected colleague and comrade, whose passing leaves our nation at a loss.”

In 2019 Mthembu’s daughter Nokhwezi Mthembu committed suicide by allegedly hanging herself and the minister had commented on how traumatising the experience was for him and his family.

He is survived by his wife, Thembi Mthembu and five children.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said: “My condolences to family and colleagues of Jackson Mthembu. We must not allow politics to forget our humanity. Giants are falling to this disease. May he rest in peace.”

Former DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi praised Mthembu as “a rare exception among ministers, as he valued accountability dearly and never shied away from difficult questions. He had an impeccable knack for banter that could defrost the most tense moments between political opponents.”


Juniour Khumalo 

Political Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24


Read the digital editions of City Press here.
Read now
Voting Booth
According to a letter Health Minister Joe Phaahla sent to MECs, the country is ready to get rid of masks in public as a health protocol. Is it time to go maskless?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
About time
61% - 177 votes
39% - 111 votes