On Sunday, 15 March 2015 Minister of Public Service and Administration Ohm Collins Chabane passed away in a tragic car accident together with his two protectors Sergeant Lawrence Lentsoane and Sergeant Lesiba Sekele while on their way from Polokwane in Limpopo Province to Tshwane.
Minister Chabane was born on 15 April 1960 at Xikundu Village, Limpopo Province. He attended Shingwedzi High School and joined the ANC underground activities at the age of 17. In May 1980 he went into exile in Angola where he underwent military training and began underground political activities in 1981. Three years later he was arrested and served a term on Robben Island together with Tokyo Sexwale, Kgalema Motlanthe and Mosiua Lekota among others.
While in prison, he developed an interest in music and studied music theory and learned to play the harmonica. Years later he became the head of a Marimba band called Movement which also recorded five albums namely Seke vs Xikundu, Xai Xai, Duma, Best of Movement and Instrumentals.
Minister Chabane continued to study while in prison and obtained a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Technikon South Africa and Diploma in Management from Arusha, Tanzania. He further holds a Diploma in Leadership and Management from the Turfloop Graduate School of Leadership under the University of Limpopo. After the 1994 elections, he was elected to serve as an MP in the National Assembly. Three years later he was re-deployed to Limpopo Province and became MEC in Premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi’s Office. In 1998 he was appointed MEC for the Department of Public Works and leader of government business in the Legislature. One of the highlights of his tenure in Public Works was the establishment of the Road Agency, which was the first institution of its kind to be established in South Africa. In 2005 Minister Chabane was appointed as MEC for Economic Development, Environment & Tourism. He embarked on an international awareness programme on economic opportunities in trade and investment in the tourism, mining and agribusiness sector. In 2009 Minister Chabane became Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation and in 2014 Minister of Public Service and Administration.
Minister Chabane established the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation which developed a number of tools to measure government performance and improve service delivery. The Minister was an avid golfer and has through The Collins Chabane Golf Day raised funds for the Xakani Charity Trust Fund. Minister Collins Chabane will be accorded a Special Official Funeral. He is survived by his wife Mavis Chabane and two children.