The deputy minister died in a car accident on the N4 highway in Pretoria West on Monday. He was driving along the highway when he crashed his Lexus into a concrete pillar. The rainy weather and poor visibility have been cited as possible causes of the accident, in which no other people were hurt.
In a statement released on Monday, President Zuma said, "He was a dedicated, committed, energetic and highly capable servant of the people. He has served this country exceptionally well as a cadre of the ANC, as an MEC and at the time of his death, as the deputy Minister of Health."
Sefularo was appointed as Deputy Health Minister on May 11, 2009 and performed his duties admirably and with enthusiasm. President Zuma described Sefularo as one of the sharpest medical minds in our country.
The Democratic Alliance's spokesman Mike Waters called Sefularo one of "a new generation of leaders in the health portfolio who had reinstated science at the centre of the campaign to tackle HIV/Aids, and scuttled the remains of the Aids dissidents."
"To a large degree because of his work, South Africa now has a detailed, credible and practical plan for preventing and treating Aids infections," the DA said.
Born in Potchefstroom in the North West in 1957, Sefularo obtained a medical degree from Medunsa and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.
He was actively involved in campus politics during his years at university and was a founding member of AZASO, the forerunner of the South African Students Congress.
In 1994, Sefularo was appointed MEC for health in the North West province and became a Member of Parliament in 2004. He was also a member of the ANC provincial executive committee.
In his spare time, Dr Sefularo enjoyed running, reading, jazz music and going to the theatre.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation expressed their grief over the accident, saying that Sefularo's death is a huge loss to the government and South Africa. "We would like to send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and comrades of the late Dr Molefi Sefularo," the Foundation said.
Asanda Fongqo, spokesman for the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa), said that Sefularo's expertise in South Africa's health system would be sorely missed.
"The untimely death of this struggle hero is a big loss, not only to the health sector but to the whole nation