Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says he learned with shock and sadness about the passing of ANC KwaZulu-Natal Spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu.

In his tribute, Dr Mkhize described Mthembu as a true soldier.

KZN ANC confirmed on Wednesday Mthembu died of COVID-19 related complications. He died on Wednesday at a Durban hospital. He was laid to rest on Saturday.

The minister said in a statement that Mthembu’s passing has robbed the organistion of one of its finest cadres.

“His passing robs us of one of the finest cadres grown, developed and steeped in the rich teachings and traditions of our liberation movement. He was a dedicated soldier for freedom and democracy who spent his life fighting for the betterment of our people.”

Dr Mkhize also described Mthembu as a dedicated soldier for freedom and democracy who spent his life fighting for the betterment of South Africans. He says Mthembu earned the trust of the ANC and community members alike through service with distinction, at all levels of the structures of the ruling party.

Dr Mkhize passed his condolences to Mthembu’s friends and families.

“May it comfort the family to know that there are masses out there who share in the grief of their loss. That is so because Comrade Ricardo’s warmth and love for people have created a wider network of friends, comrades and colleagues who count themselves as part of his family. Siyadabuka! Silahlekelwe sonke. Siyiqiniso isisho esithi: isitsha esihle kasidleli. Sithi Ndlelanhle, Mvelase!”

Below is the full statement by Dr Zweli Mkhize on the passing of Ricardo Mthembu.