16 March 2015
A special funeral service would be held for Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said in Pretoria on 15 March. Chabane, the public service and administration minister, died in a car accident in the early hours of the morning with two of his bodyguards, sergeants Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane.
The minister’s vehicle was travelling on the N1 outside Polokwane when a truck, which was driving in the same direction in the left lane in front of Chabane’s car, made a U-turn. “It was at that point that the minister’s vehicle drove into the truck,” said Radebe.
The driver of the truck had been arrested for negligent driving, Radebe added, although he could not confirm allegations that the driver had been under the influence of alcohol or had other previous charges of negligent driving.
Chabane never lost contact with his roots, said Radebe: he had been returning from the funeral of a local chief, Albert Magona of Malamulele, in his home village in Limpopo when the accident happened.
“During this difficult time, on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, the government and its people, we want to extend our sincere condolences to the Chabane, Lentsoane and Sekele families, friends and all South Africans who knew him.”
National executive member
Chabane was a humble, disciplined, passionate and dedicated member of the national executive. “He was truly devoted to his work of improving the lives of the people of South Africa and was an intellectual giant with a great understanding of what we had to do to free our people from poverty.”
As a dedicated serving minister, Chabane would receive a special official funeral, Radebe said. Details would be released soon. Zuma “expressed his deep shock at the untimely death of a competent, accomplished, dedicated and dependable member of his Cabinet”. “President Zuma views the death of Minister Chabane as a huge loss to the government and the country as a whole.”
Prior to being appointed minister of public service and administration in 2014, Chabane was the minister in the presidency for performance monitoring and evaluation. He was responsible for setting up the performance monitoring and evaluation function in The Presidency. He also oversaw the introduction of performance agreements between ministers and the president.
Chabane also served as the minister responsible for the Government Communication and Information System. He distinguished himself as a member of the Executive Council, receiving an award for his administrative role in the Limpopo provincial government. He also served as a member of the Limpopo executive council for public works, and later for economic development, environment and tourism.
He became a member of the national executive of the ANC in 1991, and in 2007 was elected to the party’s National Working Committee.
Sport and music
He was a keen golfer and a musician, recording with his group Movement. He was honoured for his contribution to indigenous music by the South African Music Rights Organisation. Chabane is survived by his wife, Mavis Chabane, and two children.
Following news of his death, the minister was described as a dedicated public servant. Zuma said he was “an outstanding cadre of our liberation struggle and a competent, accomplished and dependable member of my Cabinet”.
South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande said: “We send our condolences and message of solidarity to our long-standing ally the ANC, to the rest of our liberation movement and Alliance, and to the country as a whole. Comrade Collins Chabane, who had sharp analytical skills and was also an artist, will be sorely missed.”
Cosatu added: “His passing is a huge loss to our movement. Cosatu leaders and members at many levels interacted with him over decades and always found him to be friendly, helpful constructive and positive, particularly in the area of making policy and monitoring its implementation. His presence will be missed for years to come and we must never forget the debt we owe him.”