Today Sonke Gender Justice pays its respects to a dedicated leader, Minister Jackson Mthembu. Sonke Gender Justice and the sector at large is profoundly saddened by the news of the passing on of a dedicated ally to gender transformation from Covid-19-related complications at 62.
Born in Ackerville, Witbank, on June 5, 1958 Minister Mthembu will be fondly remembered for his uprightness and never being shy to take a stand on difficult matters including speaking boldly against corruption.
Before being appointed Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu previously served as the MEC for transport in Mpumalanga. He also served as the Chief Whip of Parliament and national spokesperson for the African National Congress (ANC).
Sonke’s Co-Executive Director, Bafana Khumalo reacted to the passing of Minister Mthembu: “I learnt with shock of the sudden passing on of Minister Mthembu, a dedicated leader to the struggle for justice and transformation. He was a person of integrity who was always willing to reach out to civil society to seek genuine and meaningful cooperation on development matters.
I recall in 2019 when he was deployed as the head of delegation to ICPD25 in Nairobi. He was committed to ensuring that South Africa’s position and commitments on the ICPD will not be compromised. He lived up to that commitment even when some close ally countries took opposing views that sought to undermine Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) commitments. We had great respect for him. Hamba Kahle, Mvelase!”
To Minister Mthembu’s family, friends, comrades and colleagues, we send our deepest condolences for your loss. We mourn with you.