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MEC Mac Jack dies

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MEC for Education MacCollen Jack has died after being admitted to a local hospital for Covid-19 about a week ago.

MEC Mac Jack. Pictures: Danie van der Lith

NORTHERN Cape MEC for Education MacCollen Jack has died after being admitted to a local hospital for Covid-19 about a week ago.

Jack died shortly after 5pm on Wednesday at Mediclinic Gariep in Kimberley.

While the hospital’s spokesperson, Denise Coetzee, said she was not in a position to provide any information, it is believed that Jack was admitted to the hospital’s high care unit about a week ago after testing positive for Covid-19.

According to information received, he died on Wednesday at around 5.30pm.

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe did not respond to media requests for comment.

Ntsikelelo MacCollen Jack was born in Graaff Reinet on March 8, 1965 and completed his high schooling at Thubalethu State High School in Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape in 1984.

His post-matric qualifications saw him obtain a Teacher’s Diploma through Masibulele College of Education as well as a Further Diploma in Education Management from the Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit.

Studying through Wits University, he obtained a CPMD-Finance Certificate, Housing Policy Development Programme (HPDP), and Certificate in Governance and Leadership, as well as completing other short courses from different institutions.

In 2013, Jack obtained an honours degree in Public Administration from the University of Stellenbosch. He was also further pursuing his studies through Wits University towards a Masters Degree.

As an activist, Jack served in different alliance structures and capacities of the ANC.

He served on the ANC Pixley ka Seme regional executive committee for more than 15 years in different roles including additional member, treasurer, secretary and later as chairperson of the region, a position he held for more than 10 years.

He also served as both an ANC provincial executive Committee (PEC) and a provincial working committee (PWC) member, positions that he held since 2008.

Jack’s work career included being a teacher at Isibane Primary School, after which he joined Lillian Noveve Combined School in Victoria West in the Northern Cape as principal.

He also occupied the post of assistant chief education specialist at the Department of Education (Eastern Cape).

In 1997, he moved back to the Northern Cape provincial administration, where he became deputy-director at the Department of Housing and Local Government in De Aar. He was appointed the local economic development manager and later the municipal manager at Pixley ka Seme District Municipality.

In 2013, Jack was sworn in as a new member of the provincial legislature (MPL), deployed by the ANC. He was elected Member of the Executive Council (MEC) responsible for the following portfolios: Transport, Safety and Liaison (2013), Health (2014) and Finance, Economic Development and Tourism (2016) and was currently serving as the MEC for Education in the Northern Cape (2019).

Married with nine children, Jack was also a grandfather to seven grandchildren.