Parliament mourns death of secretary Michael Coetzee

Michael Coetzee was appointed secretary of Parliament in November 2012. (AFP)

Michael Coetzee was appointed secretary of Parliament in November 2012. (AFP)

The secretary of Parliament, Michael Coetzee, died after fighting cancer for many years, the ANC said on Saturday.

“Although we have known of his poor health for some time, his resilient and tenacious spirit in the face of this terminal disease gave us hope that he would get stronger,” said chief whip Stone Sizani.

“He continued to serve even as he battled with the disease, playing a key role in the transition process from the fourth to the fifth Parliament and putting in place necessary administrative mechanisms and instruments for the functioning of the new term of Parliament.”

Coetzee died on Friday night.

He joined Parliament in 2002 as its deputy secretary after being secretary of the Gauteng legislature for a number of years. Coetzee was appointed secretary of Parliament in November 2012.

“His passing has undoubtedly robbed Parliament and the people of South Africa of a faithful and humble public servant, a highly experienced and diligent administrator, and a committed and passionate leader,” Sizani said.

“We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife, son and the rest of the family and friends on this painful loss.”

Coetzee leaves behind his wife Bridgette, son Matthew and his mother.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Saturday expressed sadness at Coetzee’s death.

“Coetzee loyally served Parliament for over a decade. Before that he was a noted anti-apartheid activist and community organiser,” said DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

“Parliament has been enriched by his contribution and he will be missed.”

Steenhuisen sent condolences to Coetzee’s family and friends. – Sapa



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