Flags fly at half-mast for minister

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pretoria - President Kgalema Motlanthe has given the instruction for all national flags at every flag station in the country to fly at half-mast as a mark of respect to the late Minister of Communications Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri.

The national flag will fly at half-mast from Wednesday until the evening of her funeral on Monday.

Ms Matsepe-Casaburri, who passed away on Monday evening at Kloof Hospital in Pretoria at the age of 71, will be given an official funeral in Kroonstad in the Free State.

Departmental spokesperson, Joe Makhafola said the minister had been vibrant, dynamic and alert at the time of her hospitalisation on 17 March. She was due to have certain tests conducted in respect of abdominal pain, including a laparotomy.

He said during her stay in hospital, medical complications arose which led to her untimely death and subsequently she passed away just after 10:30pm.

"The department conveys its sincerest condolences to the family, colleagues and friends," said the saddened Mr Makhafola

During her tenure at the Department of Communication, Ms Matsepe-Casaburri was instrumental in facilitating critical policies and legislation governing the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and sector.

These enabled the development of a vibrant and competitive ICT sector has laid the foundation for ensuring access and uptake of ICTs especially in impoverished and rural communities, with special focus on women and children.

She has also pioneered the introduction of the digital migration process in television broadcasting, making South Africa a global leader in this area.