Minister Chabane a humble, sociable person

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pretoria - The late Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane was not only humble but also had the gift of finding consensus in difficult situations.

Having met after the unbanning of the African National Congress in 1990, ANC member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Health Deputy Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, remembers Minister Chabane as someone who was very humble and hard working.

“We worked together in difficult times when we didn’t have many resources, working long hours and travelling throughout the province,” Dr Phaahla told SAnews on Wednesday.

At the time, Chabane was charged with heading the administration of the ANC in the then Northern Province, which is now Limpopo Province.

“He was our first head of administration,” Dr Phaahla recalls.

Dr Phaahla said Minister Chabane was a simple person who did not mind coming to visit him at the hospital where he worked.

“He would travel the length and breadth of the Northern Province to interact with us.”

Dr Phaahla’s comments come in the aftermath of the passing of Minister Chabane, who was killed alongside his two protectors when the vehicle they were travelling in was involved in a collision with a truck on Sunday.

Dr Phaahla said Minister Chabane was likeable and was often re-elected unopposed at conferences.

The late Minister also had the ability to socialise with ordinary people.

“When attending social functions he was not the kind of person who wanted to sit in the front row. You would essentially find him mingling with everybody, just interacting with ordinary people in whatever setting.

“People could engage him on any topic. He always made sure that he was well informed not just on political issues but on other matters in society,” said Dr Phaahla.

The late Minister is also credited as someone who was always willing to find consensus in any given situation.

“He was somebody who would always want to find consensus even when there are difficult matters; even when you deal with political leadership from time to time, who have difficult situations who have different views on particular matters.”

The Minister, Dr Phaahla said, would always find ways to engage.

“In the end when things were difficult, he’d just laugh and everybody would start to relax,” said Dr Phaahla, adding that he had the ability to find consensus not only among political activists but also among ordinary people.

The late Minister Chabane will be laid to rest on Saturday at his home village Xikundu, Thulamela Municipality in the Vhembe District, Limpopo.

*Click here to view our online tribute to Minister Chabane. -