Chabane's protectors to receive official funerals

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pretoria - The two protectors of the late Minister of Public Service and Administration Minister, Collins Chabane, will be afforded official funerals, says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This as the Deputy President paid a visit to the home of one of the protectors, Sergeant Lesiba Sekele in The Orchards, in Pretoria, on Monday afternoon.

The 38 year old Sekele and his colleague Sergeant Lawrence Lentsoane passed on alongside Minister Chabane in a car crash in the early hours of Sunday on the N1 in Limpopo. They were involved in a collision with a truck.

Government through Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, announced on Sunday that Minister Chabane will be afforded a special funeral.

“Their funerals are all going to be official funerals. We are according the same status to their funerals (the two protectors),” said the Deputy President outside the house of Sekele.

In addition a memorial service will be held on Thursday.

“There will be a memorial service on Thursday and we have set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee process which has a funeral committee component that is in charge of all of this.

“Members of the Cabinet [which includes Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa] are making sure that the full might of the South African government is involved in the organisation of the funeral and also to comfort the three families on an on-going basis,” explained Deputy President Ramaphosa.

Government has promised all three families that they will be supported even beyond the burial.

“We want to be as supportive as we possibly can because it’s important that we should demonstrate the South African government’s condolence and sense of loss at the departure of the three members.

“Our soldiers have fallen, three trees that were standing strong have fallen and their departure is a huge loss to the people of South Africa and to the government of South Africa and indeed their own families as well,” he added.

The Deputy President said he hoped the three families find solace and comfort as they are going through a period of stress, pain and suffering.

Family spokesperson and first cousin to Sekele, Amos Mananyetso said the family appreciated government’s visit to the family.

“It means that the deceased made a contribution of some form. They [government] came here to thank the family for donating him to the state,” he said of his first cousin.

Sekele joined the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 2003 after graduating from Technicon Pretoria.

His first principal was Minister Brigitte Mabandla, who in 1995 became the Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and in 2003; she was appointed the Minister of Housing.

He then worked for Minister Chabane from 2009 after the elections.

Sekele was a father to a 9 year old son, Kagiso and 3 year old daughter, Leago, as well as a husband to Mapula.

The family was taking the news of Sekele’s passing badly.

“The family is not coping well because it came as a shock, Sekele was young, and he was only 38 but also because he was the breadwinner of the family. He also took care of his elderly parents. We’ve lost a big member of the family, he was a responsible guy,” explained Mananyetso.

Mananyetso said that Seleke’s funeral will be held in Ga-Mashashane in Limpopo on Sunday.

“The funeral is confirmed for Sunday, it will take place in Limpopo.”

The Deputy President said the country has been robbed of three “outstanding” people that were making a meaningful contribution to the further development of South Africa, adding that the two protectors were very supportive of Minister Chabane.

“Their departure is a terrible loss, not only to their families but also to the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Commissioner [Riah Phiyega] is here, all the members of the SAPS are distraught because they were outstanding members of the service and were making a meaningful contribution.”

Ministers Nxesi and Molewa as well as Commissioner Phiyega also came to pay their respects.

Government will also visit the family of Lentsoane.

*Click here to view our online tribute to Minister Chabane. – SAnews.gov.za

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