The Congress of South African Trade Unions is deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of the Minister in the Presidency, Cde Jackson Mthembu.
We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and the ANC. This is a devastating blow as they are still dealing with the trauma of having tragically lost their daughter Nokhwezi two (2) years ago. The nation mourns with the Mthembu family.
This is a massive loss for the African National Congress, the Alliance, the mass democratic movement, and the country as a whole. Cde Jackson served the ANC at different levels of leadership over the years and was known for his discipline and fearlessness. He loved the African National Congress, but he loved South Africa more.
He never shied away from challenging and speaking out against political vandalism. As a Spokesperson of the ANC, he never succumbed to the temptation of purposely misinterpreting the positions of the organisation.
As a Chief Whip in the National Assembly, he knew that he was deployed by the ANC to ensure the implementation of the mandate from the electorate. He knew how to forcefully express his disagreement without being tasteless or offensive.
He will be remembered by workers as having stood up against corruption and state capture when few had the courage to speak out. He stood with the Federation in key battles including driving through the PIC Amendment Bill against massive fightback from those who were busy feasting on workers’ funds.
The workers’ struggles were very close to his heart and this is what led him to join the then Metal and Allied Workers’ Union (MAWU) as an organiser in Mpumalanga during the height of the struggle against apartheid.
May his soul rest in peace!
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794