Former communications minister Roy Padayachie has passed away while on an official visit to Ethiopia. Padayachie, who was serving in President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet as minister of public service & administration, was also a former deputy communications minister under the late Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri.
It is not yet clear how Padayachie died — only that he was attending an official meeting in Addis Ababa. He had celebrated his 62nd birthday earlier this week. Reports suggest he passed away in his hotel in the early hours of the morning.
A long-serving ANC stalwart, he joined the movement in 1992. With a BSc from the University of Durban-Westville and an MSc from the University of London, Padayachie worked as a microbiologist and chemist in his early career.
In the 1980s, he became more active in politics, serving as an executive member of the Natal Indian Congress and an executive committee member of the United Democratic Front in the province. He was also a member of the KwaZulu-Natal negotiating team at the Codesa talks that brought about the end of apartheid.
In April 2004, he was appointed by former President Thabo Mbeki as deputy minister of communications under Matsepe-Casaburri, a role he vacated when Zuma took office in 2009. In a cabinet reshuffle, he was made deputy minister of public service & administration but was moved into the communications ministry in November 2010. However, his tenure only lasted a year. When he was shifted into the public service ministry, Dina Pule, also a former communications deputy minister, was named as the new minister of the crucial portfolio. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media