The Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Clarence Mini.

We have lost an industry legend. Dr Mini was no ordinary BHF member, he played a significant role at foundation level at the BHF. After the departure of the late former Managing Director, Dr Humphrey Zokufa, Dr Mini was there to support and lead the team while the BHF was looking for a replacement.

He was deeply rooted in the organisation at a time when the BHF required leadership internally, when the organisation was going through a period of political turmoil and was at the risk of disintegrating. He provided the leadership that we needed at the time and put the interests of the organisation first. His views on universal healthcare were far ahead of our time, and he saw its value long before many understood the concept. We are here today because of his resilience and the efforts he made to keep the organisation standing.

He was a strong and decisive, yet a compassionate and humble leader. Wherever he left his footprints, a great difference was engraved on the institutions, the people and the leaders with whom he made contact. He challenged leaders and policymakers to closely look at the realities of the people and the communities who benefit from the healthcare sector.

He volunteered his time to support efforts to develop the public health sector, sharing best practices and providing honest insights into the realities of the healthcare sector. He was not afraid to question and investigate why laundry in hospitals was not being done, why hospitals did not have laundry services onsite, why bills were not being paid to support hospitals to work more efficiently to improve the day-to-day experiences of people who use healthcare facilities. He was not afraid to go into hospitals in townships and remote areas to understand the realities of healthcare professionals and community members.

He was pivotal in the development of young professionals in the sector. He served as a mentor, developing young leaders, and he contributed to a shift in mindset in the way in which we view healthcare.

At a time when people were thinking of accumulating wealth for themselves, Dr Mini continued working and volunteering in many areas to make sure that the healthcare sector works effectively and efficiently.

He was passionate about providing support to enable people to develop, organisations to grow, and institutions to become efficient. If there is one thing, he did not tolerate, it was inefficiency. He always spoke the truth and challenged the status quo.

Until the end of his journey, he was serving and not self-serving. He was part of the Value Input Accreditation Committee, where he served as a volunteer on the committee reporting to the MEC of Health on areas that need improvement in public healthcare facilities and quality assurance standards. He was genuinely concerned about the welfare of others.

We are grateful to his family for sharing him with the industry, for understanding his passion and allowing him to serve his purpose.

It’s very unfortunate that he succumbed to what has now become a global terror Covid-19. We have lost a leader and a legend. Farewell Dr Mini, you will be deeply missed by all of us at the BHF. We have lost a friend and a compassionate patriot.