President Kgalema Motlanthe has paid tribute to the Minister of Communications, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri who died of natural causes in a Pretoria hospital last night. She was 71.

“Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri was an outstanding leader and servant of the people of South Africa," Motlanthe says. "In her various leadership capacities and responsibilities, she has served the country with distinction, honour and selflessness. With her incisive intellect she has made an invaluable contribution to the development of policy in various fields including Information and Communication Technology.
“On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa and, indeed on my own behalf, I express heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri.”
After returning to South Africa from exile in 1990, Matsepe-Casaburri became an icon for women's advancement in the country. She was the first woman to be appointed to the board of the CSIR, the first woman to become chairperson of Sentech, and the first woman to chair the SABC.
She was also the country's first female premier as premier of the Free State from 1997 to 1999, when she then became an MP and was appointed as Minister of Communications.