It is with sadness that we advise of the passing away of Mr Sidwell Medupe from Covid-19 related complications at the young age of 56. I take this opportunity on behalf of the Deputy Ministers, the dtic family and my family to offer our sincere condolences to his wife Felicity and his children, Tlholo, Tirisano and Thoriso and his grand-children Remofilwe and Reabetswe.

Sidwell had battled the covid-virus for a number of weeks and had been hospitalised. From his hospital bed he sent us messages of his hope and trust that he would speedily recovery. We in turn all hoped his strong fighting spirit would help him to fully recover and that we would see him soon. It was not to be.

Sidwell worked very closely with Deputy Ministers Fikile Majola and Nomalungelo Gina as well as with me directly. He accompanied me on official trips abroad in 2019 and regularly attended dtic events across the country with all of us. He had also worked closely with Dr Rob Davies, the previous Minister.

We remember Sidwell for his warmth, his love for people and the joy with which he interacted with his colleagues. His passing deprives his family of a husband and father and for the dtic, we have lost a hardworking and dedicated public official. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, the dtic family, his fellow government communications officials and journalists. We will miss him tremendously.

Sidwell joined the Department as a Director of Media Relations on 1 July 2008. He was appointed the Departmental Spokesperson on 16 July 2011 and worked hard in the role to communicate the work of the dtic to a wider audience.

More recently, he chaired the Ministry’s public announcement of the extent of worker ownership in the SA economy, in an event held on the eve of Workers Day this year. His last public engagement was in Buffalo City on 24 June 2021 at the launch of the latest Mercedes Benz model made in South Africa.

Sidwell was a true gentleman with a warm heart, with a great sense of humour. We will always treasure his dedication to his craft and commitment to sharing and promoting the work of the dtic. May his soul rest in peace.

Covid-19 is taking a terrible toll on so many South Africans and people across the world. In honouring Sidwell’s life, we call on everyone to continue observing non-pharmaceutical health protocols by avoiding crowded places, washing and sanitizing of hands and to vaccinate at the earliest opportunity.

Issued by Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.

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