Skip to content

Minister Responsible for South Africa’s Response to Covid-19 Succumbs to It

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. 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.” John Steenhuisen, the leader of the Democratic Alliance, which is the opposition party in South Africa, said he was “devastated” to learn about the minister’s passing.