More condolences pour in for Matsepe-Casaburri

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pretoria - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele has conveyed condolences to the family of Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, Minister of Communications, who passed away last night.

The minister, who was 71, died at a Pretoria hospital on Monday night after a short illness.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri," said the Premier.

"On behalf of the government and people of KwaZulu-Natal, we want to offer our sincere condolences to Dr Casaburri's family, relatives and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all during these difficult moments. May her soul rest in peace."

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) said Dr Matsepe-Casaburri was instrumental in the transformation of the South African communications industry.

She took the position of the Minister of Communications in 1999 and it was during her tenure that South Africa saw a number of remarkable developments including the licensing of the third mobile network operator, Cell C and the second network operator, Neotel, said ICASA.

Dr Matsepe-Casaburri's involvement in the communications industry was not restricted to South African borders. For that reason, she served as the Chairperson of the Ministerial Oversight Committee of the African Telecommunications Union.

"Her contribution to the communications industry will forever be cherished," said ICASA in a statement.

North West Premier Edna Molewa said the North West province was deeply saddened by the news of her death.

The role played by the late minister in transforming and shaping the communications landscape in South Africa by opening the airwaves to previously disadvantaged communities will never be forgotten by the people of this country, said Ms Molewa.

"She leaves a legacy for generations to come who will, in decades ahead of us, continue to enjoy the fruits that democracy has brought to their communities such as community-based radio stations across the length and breadth of our country, including the North West province," said the premier.

President Kgalema Motlanthe earlier today described her as an outstanding leader and servant of the people of South Africa.

"In her various leadership capacities and responsibilities, she has served the country with distinction, honour and selflessness.

"With her incisive intellect she has made an invaluable contribution to the development of policy in various fields including Information and Communication Technology," he said in a statement.