South Africa is mourning the sudden death of Jackson Mthembu, a cabinet minister and presidential adviser who was the public face of South Africa’s fight against COVID-19.
President Cyril Ramaphosa offered condolences in a statement Thursday, saying he was shocked and saddened that 62-year-old Mthembu had died from COVID-related complications.
He is the first of six South African cabinet members infected with COVID-19 to succumb to the disease.
Mthembu revealed last week that he tested positive for the virus during a checkup for abdominal pain.
His death comes as South Africa battles a second wave of COVID-19 propelled by a virus variant believed to be more easily spread.
So far, South Africa has confirmed more than 1.3 million infections and 39,501 deaths, according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Source: Voice of America