SA govt Minister in President's office dies of Covid-19

22 Janvier, 2021, 08:14 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • SA minister dies of Covid-19

In the last remark on his Twitter feed on January 11, Mthembu wrote that he had "visited a Military hospital in Tshwane to get medical attention for an abdominal pain", and there tested positive for COVID-19.

When South Africa became democratic in 1994, he served in parliament, becoming national ANC spokesman the following year, a position he held from 2009 to 2014 as well, before becoming minister in the presidency in 2019.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced that one of his ministers had died from Covid-19, as virus deaths continue to spike in Africa's most industrialised nation.

Ramaphosa has described Mthembu as an exemplary leader and a life-long champion of democracy. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of loss", he said.

Mthembu's death comes as South Africa battles a second wave of the COVID-19 that is driven by a new variant of the virus that is about 50 per cent more infectious, according to health experts.

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Last week, Mthembu announced on his personal Twitter account that, after experiencing abdominal pain, he sought medical attention at the Military hospital in Tshwane.

The week before that, the police ministry announced its deputy minister, Cassel Mathale, had contracted Covid-19.

"I extend my deepest sympathies to the Minister's family, to his colleagues, comrades and many friends", Ramaphosa added. We must not allow politics to forget our humanity.

Former DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi praised Mthembu as "a rare exception among ministers, as he valued accountability dearly and never shied away from hard questions".

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