Minister Chabane was a greatly humbled leader

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The monstrous hand of death has, on Sunday morning, permanently removed Minister Collins Chabane from our earthly planet. Death has been so viciously unkind. Collins Chabane was a towering mega-star that never failed to brighten our firmament. The natural fibre of our cosmopolitan universe has been dramatically shaken by his eternal departure. His untimely death has brought untold sadness into our mortal hearts.

The sanctity of his remarkable life was as impeccable as the natural certainty of sunrise and sunset. Our shining skies have been darkened and besieged by the sad news of his passing. Chabane’s passing epitomizes, so painfully, “a great giant gone too soon”. Our bereaved nation shall never recover from the paralysing sadness occasioned by Chabane’s passing.

I first met Collins Chabane on the doorsteps of the library of the University of Limpopo in 2002. Our meeting was neither planned nor anticipated. He was, at that time, serving as Limpopo MEC for Public Works. Surprisingly, he was not surrounded or accompanied by any bodyguards. I approached him and offered my greetings. In return, he smiled and extended his hand to offer a sincere handshake. Just before the end of our brief interaction, he politely asked for my name. I professed my name and suddenly bade him goodbye. That was the day I first saw, felt and realised his great humility and profound kindness.

Four months later I saw him standing in the queue during the SRC Elections at the same university. I immediately approached him with an intention to greet. Before I could even greet him, he smiled and uttered something that took me by surprise. “How are you Mr Elvis Masoga, are you still doing well?”, that was how the then MEC (Chabane) greeted me. I was so profoundly and emotionally touched by the realization that he still remembers me.

A unique calibre of a leader whose deeds were marked by diligence, brilliance and excellence

Chabane was a unique calibre of a leader whose deeds were marked by diligence, brilliance and excellence. The unfailing resilience of his work ethic was so unearthly. The enviable tenacity of his courage was great enough to disarm even the hardest of critics.

Thoughtfulness was a conceptual ingredient that defines his actions and decisions. Humility was an engine that pumps life into his daily interaction with other human beings. The greatness of his wisdom was embedded in his epic mark of simplicity. I once attended his political lecture on “Political Strategy and Tactics”. At that political lecture, I was fascinated by his prolific intellectual acumen. His mastery of political philosophy also caught my ultra-curious imagination.

The world has lost a truly humbled and greatly intelligent servant of the people. In everything we do, we shall always remember his amazing greatness and thoughtful simplicity. His array of achievements will never elude our consciousness. His selfless contribution to our democracy will always define our national priorities.

Rest in Peace, Minister Chabane!

Elvis Masoga is a Political Analyst

– By OPINION: Elvis Masoga