Government, political parties and trade unions on Saturday expressed sadness at the death of public service & administration minister Roy Padayachie.
President Jacob Zuma said no words could express the loss that government and the people of SA felt at this loss. “It is sadly a great measure of his dedication and personality that he was to meet his destiny and fate in pursuance of a better Africa and a better world, a goal he dedicated his entire life for it to be realised and achieved.”
Padayachie, 62, was found dead in his hotel room in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia by a colleague. He was attending a meeting of the African Peer Review Mechanism.
He had joined the public service & administration ministry in October last year. He was former minister of communications and before that deputy minister of public service & administration.
The ANC said Padayachie was a committed member of the party whose life was defined by his continued activism and his work among the poorest communities.
“Even in death he will remain the champion of the poor,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said he was deeply saddened by the news. “We are in an absolute state of shock and words cannot begin to describe the deep sadness that has engulfed all of us,” he said in a statement.
He said Padayachie was without a doubt one of the most talented, experienced and visionary government leaders with unmatched ability to fit in whatever portfolio he was deployed to. “His commitment to the struggle for SA’s liberation saw him dedicate his life to service to the people.”
The Democratic Alliance said it was shocked and saddened to hear of the Padayachie’s death. “Minister Padayachie was an able and hard-working member of cabinet, who was always responsive and available to engage with the DA,” national spokesman Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.
“He will be missed in parliament, in cabinet, and indeed by all who worked with him or under him in his long and distinguished career in service of SA.”
Congress of the People leader Mosioua Lekota said Padayachie left behind a long track record of service to the SA people. “We add our voice to those of many others in conveying our sincere condolences to his family, the ANC and all formations in which he served,” he said in a statement.
Trade federation Cosatu said Padayachie died as he lived, working hard for his country and continent. “He devoted his life to serving his people, especially the poorest and most oppressed,” Cosatu said in a statement.
The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union said Padayachie’s death was a major blow to the alliance and the country in general. “Padayachie’s death comes at a time when the nation is crying for hardworking and selfless leaders like him and as public service workers, we were still looking forward to working with him to improve the public service,” spokesman Sizwe Pamla said in a statement.
He said Padayachie was a dedicated and disciplined cadre who executed his duties with honesty and excellence.
“The nation will always remember his contribution to the struggle for freedom and his dedication to the transformation of our society. The working class will remember his efforts to better the lives of the poor for years to come,” said Pamla.
The SA Communist Party sent its condolences to Padayachie’s family and friends. “Comrade Roy has dedicated almost his entire life to serve our democratic movement and all South Africans with absolute commitment, when asked by the movement to do so in different capacities,” SACP said in a statement.
“The SACP will sorely miss comrade Padayachie’s sharp intellect and capacity for strategic thinking. He had an incisive and analytical mind, and ability to analyse problems and challenges in a holistic, yet principled manner.” — Sapa