News / South Africa / Politics

Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
1 Sep 2021
4:25 pm

Kebby Maphatsoe’s family dismisses claims he died from Covid-19 complications

Thapelo Lekabe

Maphatsoe's brother, Joseph, said the MK veteran died from cardiac failure.

Late ANC MP Kebby Maphatsoe. Picture: Gallo Images/Daily Sun/Jabu Kumalo)

The family of ANC MP Kebby Maphatsoe on Wednesday dismissed claims that he died of Covid-related complications.

Maphatsoe’s brother, Joseph Maphatsoe, said the former deputy minister of defence and military veterans died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday afternoon at his home in Meyersdal, Alberton.

“We’ve heard the media has been saying he died due to Covid-19 complications. No, we totally dismiss that. He died peacefully in his sleep in his house yesterday at 12pm,” Maphatsoe said.

ALSO READ: MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe has passed away

He said his brother died from cardiac failure, a chronic condition in which the heart does not pump blood as well as it should.

“He died peacefully while sleeping in his room, not at the hospital as people have been saying. And when the paramedics arrived, I was also with them. They said the cause of death is a cardiac failure.”

Maphatsoe’s brother was speaking to the media outside his brother’s home after an ANC delegation led by its deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, visited the family to pay their respects.

Maphatsoe, 58, was the president of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) before it was disbanded by the governing party this year.

He was also a well-known and vocal supporter of former president Jacob Zuma and even called for Zuma’s release from prison for being in contempt of the Constitutional Court.

Maphatsoe family still in shock

Maphatsoe’s brother said the family was still shocked by his sudden death, adding that he had indicated before his death which people he wanted to speak at his funeral.

“There are no instructions, it’s just people that must speak. Those are his wishes,” he said, without mentioning the people Maphatsoe specifically wanted to speak at the funeral.

Duarte said the ANC respected Maphatsoe’s final wishes and appealed to the media to give the family space to grieve his death.

“That’s a family matter and as far as we are concerned as the ANC, we respect that and I think so should you as the media,” she said.

Duarte said Maphatsoe’s passing was a great loss to the ANC and lauded him for his contribution to improving the welfare of MK veterans.

“It’s a loss and we won’t recover from it very quickly, nobody does. But really our main concern right now is the family.”

Maphatsoe’s family said the MK veteran’s funeral would be held on Sunday at a venue that would be announced at a later stage.

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