South African Minister Jackson Mthembu Dies of Covid-19
South Africa has lost a Key Political Figure and Activist to Covid-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed in an announcement on Thursday.
Minister Jackson Mthembu, 62, contracted the deadly virus on January 11.
Mthembu was one of the government’s key leaders in its response to the pandemic and the public face during many press briefings.
Jackson Mphikwa Mthembu was born on 5 June 1958 in Witbank, Mpumalanga.
After his formal education, he became involved in the trade union sector in the 1980s.
He was arrested and charged with sabotage, treason & terrorism between 1986 and 1988 together with 30 other activists from Witbank.
Mthembu, an anti-apartheid activist who first became involved in politics in the 70s, was the ANC party spokesman under President Nelson Mandela from 1995-1997 and again from 2009-2014.
The president has extended his condolences to the minister’s family and colleagues.
As of Wednesday 20 January, South Africa’s Department of Health reported 1,369,426 cases of Covid-19 and 38,854 deaths.