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South African minister dies in Ethiopia

Published on 05/05/2012

South African minister Roy Padayachie has died of a heart attack in Addis Ababa, where he had gone to attend an African Union meeting, the Ethiopian government said Saturday.

Public Service and Administration Minister Padayachie, 62, collapsed at Addis Ababa airport Friday and died later in the Sheraton hotel, Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Dina Muti said.

Muti said Padayachie’s body was being flown back to South Africa on Saturday.

South African President Jacob Zuma said in a statement, “We have lost a worker, an academic, a cadre and a soldier for a better South Africa, may his family be consoled by the work he has done for the country and its people.”

Radhakrishna Lutchmana “Roy” Padayachie joined the African National Congress, now South Africa’s ruling party, in 1972.

A chemist by training, he had held various posts in the government since 2004, notably in the communications and public service and administration ministries.