Pretoria - Transnet Group Chief Executive Officer Brian Molefe says South Africa is a poorer country following the untimely death of Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane.
Paying tribute to the liberation struggle hero and King of Chimurenga music, with whom he had an enduring friendship, Molefe said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of a beloved comrade, Mr Collins Chabane.
“Chabane’s vivacity, irrepressible energy and talent will be sorely missed by all of us who worked closely with him.
“It is a double blow to our nation, which he has served since the age of 17 with steadfast loyalty and devotion - and for which he sacrificed his youth. We are a poorer country for his loss.
“We can only imagine the pain and grief his family must be currently experiencing and we extend our heartfelt condolences to all of them at this extremely difficult and trying time.
“Let us honour his memory by ensuring that we work as hard as he did, build lasting friendships as well as he did, and enjoy our lives as passionately as he did.”
Molefe said Minister Chabane’s passing - like those of his long-serving colleagues from protection services, Sergeants Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane, was unnecessary and shocking.
All three were casualties of a fatal crash allegedly caused by a truck making a U-turn on the N1 highway outside Polokwane in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Molefe said: “He was known to some of us as ‘Comrade Animal’ or ‘Is’lwane’, and was a fearless combatant and commander with an extraordinary political brain.
“He was an organic intellectual who saw the funny side of any situation, trivial or grave. He laughed from the apex of his soul.
“He loved music and made me listen to Norman Granz’s Jam Sessions in his tiny backroom at Turfloop University, where he stayed on returning from Robben Island.”
The Transnet boss said while he was still the Provincial Secretary in Limpopo, Chabane tasked him with the job of managing the movement’s petty cash and taught him not only about politics but human nature.
“I learned about running an organisation from him,” he said.
*Click here to view our online tribute to Minister Chabane. - SAnews.gov.za