Minister Collin Chabane was remembered as a generous man who served his country under both the old government and the new democratic government.
Chabane passed away on Sunday morning after his car collided with a truck on the N1 highway near Polokwane. He was traveling with two of his bodyguards, Sargent Lesiba Sekele and Sargent Lawrence Lenstoane, who also died on the scene.
Hundreds gathered at the Tshwane Events Centre to mourn his death and celebrate his life.
Paying tribute to Chabane, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Today we remember Collins in fondness and great appreciation.”
Deputy President Ramaphosa stands with Tshepo Motsepe. Sitting next to him is Minister Chabane’s wife Mavis Chabane.
“He embodies the values in which we seek to build our nation. His spirit and memory will continue to reside among our people, in villages, townships and across the world,” he said.
“Our loss is a colossal loss.”
Ramaphosa said that Chabane was a quiet strategist, a musician, a father, friend.
He embodies the values in which we seek to build our nation
Chabane was hailed for contributing to better working conditions for public servants.
“He was a friend, a leader, a father to many and the children who benefited from the work,” said Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, who spoke on behalf of Chabane’s friends.
He said Chabane had many friends from all walks of life. “They varied from the shared trenches, played with him and those who worked with him who was trying to gather money for charity.”
“It couldn’t have been easy to condense Chabane’s life into a few pages…we have lost a giant,” said Lesetja.
“Chabane understood the plight of ordinary people and worked hard to serve South Africans.”
Chabane’s son, Matimba, says his father taught him and his sister Tsakani to be grateful and appreciative of all things big and small.
Chabane’s funeral will take place on Saturday, March 21, 2015, in Xikundu, Limpopo.
Watch the memorial service and tributes…
– By Matiba Mutheiwana