The founder and chairperson of civil society organisation, Justice Project South Africa (JPSA), Howard Dembovsky passed away in the early hours of Friday morning.
While the details surrounding Dembovsky’s death were unclear, it is understood that he suffered a stroke about 10 days ago and he had been admitted to hospital.
The chairperson of the National Press Club (NPC), Val Boje, confirmed Dembovsky’s passing in a statement on Friday.
“Dembovsky, a campaigner for truth and justice, had addressed the National Press Club media briefings in the past about road safety issues, Gauteng’s e-tolls and the AARTO Amendment Act.
“He founded the non-profit JPSA in 2008 to transform traffic law and root out malfeasance in law enforcement, and took the view that road safety could not be achieved without ethical enforcement free of corruption.
“We pay tribute to Dembovsky for standing up for the rights of motorists and believe that, while he will be missed, the important mission he started must carry on,” Boje said.
The NPC sent its condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at the JPSA.
According to JPSA’s website, Dembovsky has a long and distinguished track record in furthering the objectives of the lobby group that focuses on road safety.
“His forthright, no-nonsense approach to road safety and representing the interests of JPSA’s members has earned him more than his fair share of enemies in powerful places and some of these people have chosen to mount personal attacks on both, his character and the legitimacy of JPSA.
“Because he has no skeletons in his closet and insists that the affairs of JPSA are always above board, these personal attacks have failed, each and every time they have been launched.”
Tributes have been pouring in on social media following his passing:
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) April 2, 2021
My friend Howard Dembovsky, founder of the Justice Project, sadly passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning.
He suffered a massive stroke about tens days ago and was in a coma in a private hospital.
Howard was a relentless campaigner for truth and justice.
— Tony Beamish (@TonyBeamish) April 2, 2021
Sad news: Howard Dembovsky, the founder of @JPSAorg has sadly passed away. Howard will be missed. He was a true activist for the rights of motorist. We spoke to him on #CrimeWatch @eNCA just recently. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/UAeABWtKjO
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) April 2, 2021
Howard Dembovsky. Rest in peace my good friend. I shall miss you dearly – already do. Our hour long daily conversations have come to sad and abrupt end.
Broken, to say the least. pic.twitter.com/KxJLOrr7xg
— Rob Hutchinson #unlockdown (@RobHutchinson8) April 2, 2021