The SABC is reporting that Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo has passed away in hospital after contracting Covid-19. He was 53.
Makhubo went into self-quarantine on 20 June, during which time he committed to continue monitoring and providing guidance on work being carried out to contain and manage the spread of Covid-19 in Johannesburg.
He was hospitalised last week. The City’s spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said in a statement on Saturday, 3 July Makhubo would remain in hospital “until his medical team is satisfied [with] his recovery”.
Ndamase on Friday said his office “had hoped [he] would beat the virus and return to work and lead the city”.
“Sadly, it was not to be”.
“Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife, daughters, mother and the rest of his family, friends and comrades”.
The acting-executive mayor added the Office of the Executive Mayor and Speaker of Council will announce further details in due course.
President Ramaphosa extended his condolences to the family and described Makhubo’s passing as a loss to the city of Johannesburg and the province at large. He also lauded Makhubo for his contribution to the national effort in the fight against Covid-19.
“The passing of Mayor Makhubo is a stark reminder of the threat posed by this deadly pandemic against which we are all extremely vulnerable”.
“Since he received his own diagnosis in June this year, Mayor Makhubo regularly posted public health messages urging people to take responsibility for their own safety and that of others,” President Ramaphosa said.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) expressed its sincerest condolences to Makhubo’s family, friends and colleagues as well.
“We hope for peace and comfort for them in this difficult time”.
Makhubo’s family requested to be afforded privacy and space as they process the untimely passing of one of their own.
Moreover, mourners are discouraged from gathering at the home of the late executive mayor.
More to follow.