The ANC in the Eastern Cape believes the late party stalwart Steve Tshwete would have been disappointed with state of the sport in country, had he still been alive.

Tshwete died on this day 19 years ago and the ANC in the province held a wreath laying ceremony in his honour.

Mr Fix It, as he was affectionately known, was the first Minister of Sport and Recreation in a democratic South Africa and was known for spearheading transformation in all sporting codes.

ANC Eastern Cape Chairperson, Oscar Mabuyane, says Tshwete would definitely not be impressed with the quality of the national soccer team’s game.

“Definitely, his bones must be turning in his grave. We would not be anticipating what we are seeing now. You can’t have Bafana Bafana not qualifying in this day and age with all the resources that they are exposed to if you were to compare him with the team of 1996,” says Mabuyane.

The Tshwete family appreciated the ANC’s gesture.

“I think my family as a whole my son next to me is happy and we are all happy as a family,” his widow, Pam Tshwete said.

ANC EC lays wreaths at Steve Tshwete’s grave:

His son, Mayihlome, added: “It represents a great deal for the family, remember I was raised by a mother and a father who always tried to remind us that the ANC doesn’t owe you anything, the ANC is the means for you to serve the people so for the province to do this for us as a family and as a community even though we did not ask for it speaks to the great value that they saw in my father. The Premier and the chairperson spoke quiet eloquently about having to take some of the principles that my father represented and keep it going in this new generation.”

Tshwete was 63 at the time of his passing.

He was serving as Minister of Safety and Security under the Mbeki administration. Tshwete spent 15 years on Robben Island, after being found guilty of belonging to a banned organisation. Shortly after his release in 1978, he returned home and became a teacher until his was deployed to national government.