South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Thursday that Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has died of Covid-19.
Mthembu was one of the government’s key leaders in its response to the pandemic and the public face during many Covid-19 press briefings.
“It is with deep sorrow and shock that we announce that Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu passed away earlier today from COVID-related complications. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of loss,” President Ramaphosa tweeted.
“Minister Mthembu was an exemplary leader, an activist and life-long champion of freedom and democracy. He was a much-loved and greatly respected colleague and comrade, whose passing leaves our nation at a loss,” Ramaphosa added.
On January 11 Mthembu tweeted that he had contracted Covid-19.
“Today I visited the Military hospital in Tshwane to get medical attention for an abdominal pain. After undergoing some tests, I tested positive for Covid-19,” he said.
Mthembu then thanked the South Africans who wished him a speedy recovery and said the country “must overcome Covid-19.”
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SOURCE: CNN, Jennifer Hauser and Brent Swails