Late spokesperson for health department, Joe Maila. Photo: DoH

Johannesburg - The family of health department spokesman Joe Maila, who died on Thursday reportedly in a shooting accident in Pretoria, have thanked his friends, colleagues, and the public for their support.

"The Maila family has been saddened and learned with shock of the passing of Mr Joe Maila. The pain of losing Buti Joe has left and brought unbearable pain to the family. However, as the family we draw strength from the countless messages we received from all his friends, colleagues in government and in the media, and the public at large," a statement issued by family spokesman Harold Maloka said on Sunday.
 
"The family would like to express its sincere appreciation and gratitude for all the messages and support during this difficult time as they come to terms with this painful loss.
 
"Joe Maila died on Thursday, 19 October 2017 and the circumstances of his passing are subject of police investigation. The family has met with the police and takes comfort that the matter is receiving attention of the South African Police Service (SAPS).
 
"The family wish to reiterate its request for the media and members of the community to allow them space and time to grieve as they prepare to lay Buti Joe to his final resting place," the statement said.

The family had decided that the funeral would take place on Saturday, October 28 at Potters House Church, Ivy Park in Polokwane, Limpopo at 7am. Memorial services would also be held Pretoria and in Polokwane. Further details would be announced as they became available during the course of the week.
 
"At the time of his passing he was the spokesperson of the Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, the family also expresses its appreciation and thank you to the minister for the support he has provided since they learned of Joe’s passing," the statement said.
African News Agency