Johannesburg - Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development, Eunice Mgcina, is the Acting Executive Mayor of the City of Joburg, following the death of incumbent mayor Geoff Makhubo.
Makhubo died, at age 53, on Friday, after a spell of hospitalisation and eventually succumbed to Covid-19.
“We had hoped that Makhubo would beat the virus and return to work and lead the City as we face this pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods. Sadly, it was not to be.
“Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife, daughters, mother and the rest of his family, friends and comrades,” said Mgcina.
Mgcina said the office of the Executive Mayor and Speaker of Council will announce further details, in due course.
“The family has requested to be afforded privacy and space as they process the untimely passing of one of their own. Mourners are discouraged from gathering at the home of Makhubo,” said Mgcina.
Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and CoGTA, Lebogang Maile, has also expressed sadness at Makhubo’s death.
“On behalf of the Gauteng provincial government, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Makhubo family, his colleagues in Exco and his organization, the ANC”, said Maile.
Maile said that Makhubo died at a time when the City of Joburg was accelerating service delivery in communities, especially in poor and working-class communities.
“We are saddened about Makhubo’s death. This is a huge blow for local government, not only in Johannesburg, but provincially, as a whole. He was a very disciplined and committed servant, who was dedicated to the service of the people,” Maile said.
Maile is expected to visit the Makhubo family to extend the Gauteng provincial government's condolences.
Details of the memorial and funeral services will be shared once discussions have been finalized with the family.
The embattled ANC Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, has also expressed his condolences to the Makhubo family and all South Africans who have lost their loved ones due to Covid-19.
“I will remember Makhubo as a very active comrade. People must be cautious and take necessary steps against Covid-19. Makhubo was a wonderful chap and very disciplined member of the ANC, soft spoken but a real comrade until death,” said Magashule.
DA Johannesburg caucus leader Leah Knott also expressed condolences to Makhubo and his family and friends.
“We are shocked at the passing. We express condolences to the family and close friends. I remember him as a robust individual, political differences aside,” said Knott.
IFP Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, Bonginkosi Dhlamini, said during Makhubo’s tenure, he served the citizens of the City with the utmost dedication and passion.
“The IFP extends its deepest condolences to Makhubo's family, friends, colleagues, and all his comrades in the ANC. His loss is felt not only by members of his family and his political organisation, but by all citizens of the City of Johannesburg. May his soul rest in perfect peace, and his contribution to society outlive him,” Dhlamini said.
The ANC in Gauteng also expressed their condolences to the family.
“We join thousands of South Africans in mourning the passing of Comrade Makhubo who served the ANC as its former regional treasurer and former COJ MMC of finance and former ANCYL regional chairperson,” said ANC Gauteng in a statement.