President Zuma visits Chabane family

Monday, March 16, 2015

By More Matshediso

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma on Monday paid a visit to the family of the late Public Service and Administration Minister, Collins Chabane, together with other Ministers and Deputy Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, to convey their condolences.  

President Zuma said Minister Chabane’s passing is a great loss not only to the family but to government, the African National Congress (ANC) and the country at large.

“He leaves a gap that is going to be very difficult to close,” said President Zuma to the media gathered outside the home of the late Minister in Pretoria.

Minister Chabane and his two protectors, Sergeants Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane, died in a vehicle crash on the N1 in Polokwane on Sunday morning. Their car reportedly collided with a truck.

“This is very difficult to cope with… it must be devastating to the family,” said President Zuma.

The President has extended his deep sympathies and condolences to Minister Chabane’s wife, son and daughter, who had just flown in on Monday morning from London where she is studying.

The President also spoke to Minister Chabane’s brother, whom he said was brought up by the Minister.

“We have conveyed our condolences and sympathies and guaranteed that we are going to be with them throughout this period of mourning,” said the President.

He said the late Minister was an asset to the country and was deployed in the department because it is a key department in the running of government and he knew that Minister Chabane will always deliver.

He said Minister Chabane had strong attributes and qualities and had a long time to contribute to government.

“It is difficult to accept what has happened… it is difficult to explain what happened,” said the President.

He said Minister Chabane was more than just a Minister, colleague and comrade; he was also a brother.

“To me he was like a son. I had known him since he was 17 years old. I was part of those who made him join the ANC and prepared him politically and militarily as an MK cadre. I also prepared him for government in 2009 when I took over as the President of this country,” said President Zuma.

He said Minister Chabane led the sub-committee that discussed the restructuring of government, the necessity of new departments and made a significant contribution.

President Zuma has assigned a few Ministers to assist the Chabane family with arrangements during this period, including Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi and Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister Ayanda Dlodlo.

“We hope that we will mourn with dignity as government and the country and bid him farewell on the day that the family will decide jointly with government.

“We would like to invite the country to mourn with the family and celebrate his life, which he spent very well in fighting for the liberation and reconstruction of this country,” said President Zuma.

President Zuma said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will visit the families of Sergeants Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane.

“We are also going to be working with them to ensure that their own processes are supported by government. We are saddened and shocked but we have to accept the reality and try to be strong,” he said.

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

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