South Africa’s minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has died, announced President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In a statement, Ramaphosa said Mthembu succumbed to Covid-19 earlier today.

“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”, read the statement.

Ramaphosa discribed Mthembu as an exemplary leader, an activist and life-long champion of freedom and democracy.

“He was a much-loved and greatly respected colleague and comrade, whose passing leaves our nation at a loss.

Ramaphosa extended his deepest sympathies to the Minister’s family, to his colleagues, comrades and many friends.