Thousands of people have already started arriving in Xikundu, Limpopo, for the funeral of public service and administration minister, Collins Chabane, according to reports.

Chabane will be laid to rest on Saturday along with his two bodyguards, Lesiba Sekele and Mareme Lentsoane, who died when their car crashed into a truck last week.

Eyewitness News reported that around 13 000 people, including ministers and diplomats, are expected to attend the funeral.

The truck driver, Amukelani Rikhotso, has appeared before the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court in Limpopo and the matter was postponed to 10 April for further investigation.
The National Prosecuting Authority has vowed to oppose his bail.

The truck driver remains in custody.

According to eNCA the state funeral for Chabane is set to start at 09:00, with a eulogy by PresidentJacob Zuma at about 10:40.

The broadcaster said that a white marquee was set up at a local sports field for the funeral.

On Thursday several speakers paid tribute to Chabane at a memorial service in Pretoria.

Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said Chabane was “a great humanist” who committed his life to serving South Africans.

Chabane

He said the void created by Chabane’s death would be felt across the country.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said Chabane died at a critical moment, during negotiations in the public sector.

He thanked the Chabane family for giving the nation “a man who was so capable”.

Chabane’s friend, SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago described him as “a champion of development, a selfless fighter, and a servant of our people”.

Deputy National Assembly Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli said South Africa was poorer without Chabane. He said Chabane was a humble man “who did not allow his position in society to go to his head”.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Minister Collins Chabane was a down-to-earth person. He always treated everyone with the same dignity and respect, whether they were a manual labourer or gardener at the Union Buildings or a fellow minister.”

“Although he had progressed to the highest levels of the ruling party and of government, he always retained this humility. As a result, he was a good listener, and was always open to hearing others’ points of view.”

The Premier Soccer League will also observe a moment of silence at Saturday and Sunday’s Nedbank Cup round of 16 fixtures in honour of the late minister.

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