21 January, 2021
Owavel’eNyandeni yemikhonto yakwaMabaso,
Angadl’amathibane indlala ngabe iwile,
Mnisi wemvula ilanga libalele,
Ngoza kaMkhubukeli, kaGazi,
The ANC learned with shock of the passing of its National Executive Committee (NEC) member and Minister in the Presidency, comrade Jackson “Mvelase” Mthembu, after a battle with Covid 19.
Born 5 June 1958 in Witbank (now Emalahleni, Mpumalanga), Cde Jackson (62) mostly referred to in his clan name “Mvelase” has dedicated his entire life to the struggle for a better South Africa and world.
A young student and youth activist since the 70s, Mvelase went on to play a critical role in the mass democratic movement, including the United Democratic Front and ANC underground structures in the then Eastern Transvaal, as a vocal proponent for freedom and the emancipation of the people. Mvelase became pivotal in setting up the structures of the ANC after its unbanning in 1990 under the banner of the National Reception Committee.
His consistency and ability to engage and win over even those who disagreed with him, saw Mvelase excel in the communications machinery of the ANC, eventually serving as its National Spokesperson and the Chief Whip of the ANC in Parliament. In these tasks he excelled as expected and did his work with diligence, commitment and with attention to detail.
Mvelase’s contribution in the NEC was always considered, aimed at genuine exchange of ideas and finding solutions, always passionately committed to the betterment of South Africa’s people, especially the poor and marginalised.
As a revolutionary cadre he understood the importance of self- criticism, always willing to admit if he made mistakes and self-correct. We all remember his sense of humour, his firmness and humility.
In all the positions that he served over the years, as youth activist, civic and community leader, in the ANC and government as MEC in Mpumalanga, as Member of Parliament, as ANC Chiefwhip, as Minister in the Presidency, he led with distinction and honour.
The ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and comrades.
The passing of Jackson Mthembu is a great loss to South Africa and to our movement.
On behalf of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, we dip our revolutionary banner to this formidable South African patriot.
Hamba Kahle, Mvelase, Lala ngoxolo Freedom Fighter
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
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