Northern Cape education MEC Mac Jack dies

The Northern Cape’s MEC for education, Mac Jack, died on Wednesday evening in hospital. 

“He was admitted to hospital last week and he was as always in good spirits and confident of a full recovery,” Premier Zamani Saul said in the statement. 

“Unfortunately he took a bad turn and was declared deceased earlier this evening. He was a seasoned cadre of the movement and an outstanding public servant. He had warrior spirit and extraordinary energy.”

Saul did not say what caused Jack’s death. But the Diamond Fields Advertiser reported that Jack had died after being admitted to hospital for Covid-19.

According to the Northern Cape department of education’s website, Jack started his career as a teacher and went on to become a principal. He also worked as an assistant chief education specialist in the Eastern Cape department of education. 

In 1997, Jack, who was born in 1965 in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape, started working for the Northern Cape provincial administration as a deputy director at the department of housing and local government. He then became the local economic development manager and later the municipal manager at Pixley ka Seme district municipality. 

He served in the ANC Pixley ka Seme regional executive committee for 15 years, where he held various positions including that of chairperson, secretary and treasurer. He was the chairperson of the region for 10 years and was on the provincial working committee for 12 years. He was also part of the ANC’s provincial executive committee.  

Jack became a member of the provincial legislature in 2013 and has served in different portfolios as an MEC. In 2019 he formed part of Saul’s executive as an MEC for education. 

Saul said he was “shocked at the loss of such a remarkable and capable leader”. He said further details would be released after a meeting with the family on Thursday.

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Bongekile Macupe
Bongekile Macupe is an education reporter at the Mail & Guardian.

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