Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Director-General, Phumla Williams, could not hold back her tears when she arrived at the residence of the late Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, in Ackerville, Witbank.
Williams led a drive-by visit by the management of departments and entities led by the late Mthembu on Friday afternoon in line with strict Covid-19 protocols.
The departments and entities which reported to the late Minister included The Presidency, GCIS, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Brand South Africa, Media Development and Diversity Agency, National Planning Commission, and Statistics South Africa.
Paying tribute to the late Mthembu, an emotional Williams said government was greatly saddened by the news of his passing.
Struggling to hold back tears, Williams thanked Mthembu’s family for allowing him to work for the nation.
“Mthembu worked very hard in everything he did. He gave us direction and didn’t have pride. He gave us the opportunity to voice our views on how we can make government work better for the people. Where we made mistakes, he pointed them and guided us accordingly,” Williams said.
A senior official from National Planning Commission said he had never had a leader like Mthembu.
He was the people’s person, even before he became a leader.
“The loss of a leader with such rare qualities is a loss to the country. His neighbours should be proud because Mthembu was a leader who did good things for the people. Rest in Peace Mvelase,” he said.
Officials laid wreaths at Mthembu’s residence and recorded their messages of condolence in the condolences book placed on the table outside the house.
The Presidency has meanwhile confirmed that Mthembu will be honoured with an Official Funeral Category 1 on Sunday, 24 January 2021. Proceedings will commence at 09:00.