JOHANNESBURG. — Provincial governments, politicians and political parties expressed shock at the death of Public Service Minister Collins Chabane following an accident in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The African National Congress Chief Whip Stone Sizani said Chabane’s death was a devastating loss.
“A blanket of sadness and sorrow has indeed befallen all of us at such a devastating loss of a hard-working and loyal government minister and his dedicated members of staff,” he said in a statement.
“Through this tragic, untimely passing, the nation has indeed lost a remarkable individual who served and led with kindness, great humility, humbleness, dedication and energy.”
Stone said Chabane’s death would leave a huge void within the ranks of government and the ANC.
“In the context of the parliamentary caucus, his faithful participation in study groups and other caucus structures, the great wisdom he imparted as well as the vibrant intellectual discourse he stirred, would be greatly missed.”
Chabane and his bodyguards Sergeant Lesiba Sekele and Sergeant Lawrence Lentsoane were killed instantly when a truck did a U-turn in front of their car on the N1 near Polokwane in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille described Chabane as a dedicated minister who served government with great commitment.
“I got to know him well when he was minister in the presidency in charge of performance management and evaluation, and I respected the quality of his work and his commitment to fairness and openness,” she said in a statement.
“The tragedy of his death will leave a vacuum in national government that will be hard to fill in his current portfolio.”
On behalf of the Western Cape government, Zille sent condolences to Chabane’s family, friends and colleagues.
The KwaZulu-Natal government expressed shock at Chabane’s death.
“We are shocked by this news and as the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, we wish his family, friends and Cabinet colleagues strength during this difficult time,” said Premier Senzo Mchunu.
“He was a true democrat who gave his life to the service of our nation.”
Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba asked people to pray for the families of Chabane and his two bodyguards.
“We express our deepest condolences to the families of minister Collins Chabane, Sergeant Lesiba Sekele and Sergeant Lawrence Lentsoane following their deaths in a car accident early today,” he said in a statement.
“I appeal to all people of faith, please lift their families up in prayer at this time.”
Earlier, President Jacob Zuma extended condolences to the families of Chabane, Sekele and Lentsoane.
“President Jacob Zuma has extended his heartfelt condolences to Mrs Mavis Chabane, wife of the Minister of Public Service and Administration Mr Collins Chabane
and also the families of the two protectors of the minister who passed away earlier this morning,” said spokesperson Mac Maharaj.
Parliament and Chabane’s party, the ANC expressed sadness at the news of his death.
Chabane was described as dedicated and hard working.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said his death would leave a void in the party and government.
His colleague Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Chabane was committed to the struggle and solving challenges.
“His dedication and commitment to our movement and our struggle to empower our people will be remembered by all of us,” she said.
The Congress of the People, Young Communist League of SA and the United Democratic Movement expressed sadness at the news of his death.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa called Chabane an “extraordinary leader”.
The Pan Africanist Congress sent its condolences to Chabane’s family and those of his two bodyguards.
“Their death raises the urgency of tackling road safety, which is out of control,” PAC deputy president Sbusiso Xaba said. — Sapa.