The United Nations in South Africa has expressed its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the late Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, who passed away earlier on Thursday from complications related to COVID-19.

“Minister Mthembu will be fondly remembered for his courage, empathy, loyalty, a sense of humour, and depth of knowledge of the struggle for freedom in South Africa,” said Resident Coordinator and head of the UN in South Africa, Nardos Bekele-Thomas.

Minister Mthembu joined the struggle movement during his student years.

Being a student leader during the 1976 uprisings was only the beginning of his fight for freedom against apartheid. He continued to serve for a better South Africa up and until his death at the age of 62.

“We join the government and people of South Africa in mourning his tragic and untimely passing from this vicious virus that continues to take away our most dear and near. It is now more urgent than before that we remain united in the fight against this pandemic,” said Bekele-Thomas.

Below is SABC‘s special broadcast on Jackson Mthembu’s passing: