Eric Naki
Political Editor
2 minute read
23 Jan 2021
4:55 am

A minister who was ‘too good to die’

Eric Naki

As minister in the Presidency, Mthembu was a de facto prime minister and the face of the Presidency.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Jackson Mthembu share a moment in Parliament during President Jacob Zuma’s question and answer #ZumaQandA on June 22, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Business Day / Esa Alexander)

When the news of the death of Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu came, it was as though a deputy president or even a president had just died. I am not surprised. A teller at Shoprite, seeing me buying a copy of The Citizen with the story I wrote about the minister’s demise on Friday, remarked: “I can’t believe Jackson is no more, people like him shouldn’t die. He was too good to die.” My wife sent me a WhatsApp voice note a few hours after the news went viral saying: “I see Mthembu Jackson has died. I can’t believe...