04 June 2011
In the course of traversing the length and breadth of the country, getting to know where people live and how they live, President Jacob has met and made many friends, one of whom passed away recently.
President Zuma met Mrs Johanna Cecelia du Plessis during his interactions with various communities. He was struck by her sprightliness despite being wheelchair-bound. She declared herself a friend of the President’s and used to phone him regularly.
President Zuma was inspired by her willingness to embrace the new spirit of democracy and reconciliation prevailing throughout the country and took her calls.
Mrs du Plessis had insisted to her children that on her passing, the President should be notified. President Zuma thus mourns the sad passing of his dear friend.
“South Africa is darker tonight because another of its bright stars will shine no more,” said President Zuma.
On learning that the family had no means to bury her, the President directed the Jacob Zuma Foundation to carry the cost of the funeral and has spent the past few days assisting and guiding the preparations. The President will also attend his friend’s funeral.
Mrs du Plessis is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren and four great- grandchildren.
Her funeral service will be as follows:
Date: Sunday 05 June 2011
Venue: Plot 47 Constantia Road, Honeydew, Johannesburg
Enquiries: Zizi Kodwa on 082 330 4910.
Issued by The Presidency