North West MECs test negative for Covid-19 after colleague's death

MEC Gordon Kegakilwe who died earlier this week.
MEC Gordon Kegakilwe who died earlier this week.
North West Provincial Government
  • Five North West MECs are all in the clear - after coming into contact with MEC Gordon Kegakilwe who died earlier this week.
  • There was no update on North West Premier Job Mokgoro - who tested positive and voluntarily chose to isolate in hospital.
  • In the Western Cape, Premier Alan Winde's condition is improving - after he also contracted Covid-19 - the day before the North West MEC died.

Members of the North West provincial cabinet – who were close contacts of the MEC Gordon Kegakilwe – have been cleared of Covid-19.

Kegakilwe, North West MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, died on Monday following a "short and serious illness" and had tested positive for Covid-19.

Kegakilwe was admitted with Covid-19-related pneumonia last Sunday afternoon at the Vryburg Private Hospital and was immediately put on oxygen; and a decision was taken the following morning to transfer him to a medical facility in Klerksdorp - where he died.

READ | North West, Dlamini-Zuma bid farewell to 'well-rounded activist' MEC Gordon Kegakilwe

The North West provincial Department of Health said in a statement on Sunday: "The five North West Province MECs who were contacts of the premier and late MEC Gordon Kegakilwe all tested negative to Covid-19."

The five MECs were named as Health MEC Madoda Sambatha, Social Development MEC Boitumelo Moiloa, Education MEC Wendy Matsemela, Finance MEC Motlalepula Rosho and Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Desbo Mohono.

"The advisor to the premier Mr Zakes Tolo also tested negative. The test was conducted yesterday at their quarantine facility in Rustenburg," the department reported. 

Health MEC Madoda Sambatha said earlier this week: "It is important that we lead by example by de-stigmatizing Covid-19 and instilling public confidence in the capacity of our province to deal with Covid-19."

The MEC gave the further assurance "that though they tested negative they will continue to take precaution and implement preventative measures against Covid-19 by ensuring social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing all the time".

"We tested negative but it does not mean we can't contract the virus if we do not take precaution. That is why I am appealing to the members of the public who were contacts like us but later tested negative to make sure that they remain negative by keeping social distancing, wearing masks, sanitizing or frequently washing their hands with running water and soap and avoid unnecessary travel," said MEC Madoda Sambatha.

Premier in the province, Job Mokgoro, also tested positive. Gauteng's premier David Makhura earlier in the week and was experiencing mild symptoms.

READ | North West Premier Job Mokgoro checks into hospital for voluntary self-quarantine

Meanwhile, in the Western Cape, Premier Alan Winde - who also recently tested positive for Covid-19 - was today described by his office as "improving".

Spokesperson Bianca Capazorio told News24: "His temperature has dropped and his [blood sugar levels] is controlled. He continues to improve but is still monitoring very closely."

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