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Date: 09 May 2012
Title: Mourners gather for Padayachie funeral
Durban - Senior government officials, politicians and members of the public have started gathering at Durban's Sahara Kingsmead Stadium to bid farewell to the late Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachie.
Padayachie passed away last week while attending the African Peer Review Mechanism meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The two-day meeting was a high level discussion between ministers and top government officials who report directly to their respective heads of state.
President Jacob Zuma is expected to address the mourners at the stadium.
Dignitaries -- dressed mostly in black as a sign of respect for the man widely renowned for his contribution to the improvement of the public sector in South Africa -- can be seen streaming into the stadium where the mood is tangibly sombre.
Most streets in the vicinity of the stadium have been cordoned off, and police cars are seen in almost every street corner to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.
Padayachie previously served as the Minister of Communications and before that, as Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration.
Colleagues in Parliament described the late Padayachie as an able and hard-working member who was always responsive and available to engage.
Padayachie has been accorded a category one Official Funeral, which is reserved for ministers who pass away while still in office.
On Saturday, President Jacob Zuma said no words could express the loss that government and the people of SA felt.
Padayachie will be cremated at Clare Estate Crematorium in Durban after the funeral service at the stadium.
Condolence books for members of the public who wish to send messages have been placed at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and at Tuynhuys in Cape Town. - BuaNews