Covid-19 claims life of SA's 'chief social worker' Connie Nxumalo

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Connie Nxumalo.
Connie Nxumalo.
Department of Social Development
  • Deputy director-general of welfare services Connie Nxumalo has died after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 complications.
  • Nxumalo was at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 and served on national strategy groups.
  • She was also the architect of a Department of Social Development's national action plan to combat violence against women and children.

The deputy director-general of welfare services in the Department of Social Development, Connie Nxumalo, has died of Covid-19.

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Nxumalo, who had been admitted to hospital due to Covid-19-related complications, died in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to a statement released by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.

"We had hoped that she would recover and be with her family and with time return to work, as she was in the frontline of our national efforts so that many in our country can benefit from her work. So much of our work in protecting children, older persons and persons with disabilities are the result of her extraordinary vision and leadership," said Zulu.

She described Nxumalo as "South Africa's chief social worker", saying she "lived the life of service to the best of her abilities until her last breath".

Nxumalo was one of the architects of the department's national action plan to combat violence against women and children as well as anti-substance abuse interventions.

Nxumalo also represented the department and the sector at the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS).

"The cruel hand of death has robbed our nation of an illustrious leader who served with distinction. I offer my deepest condolences to her family and friends as we mourn her untimely passing and celebrate a remarkable life dedicated to bettering the lives of the most vulnerable in our country," Zulu said.

She added that "Sis Connie", as Nxumalo was affectionately known throughout the department, was always cheerful and willing to lend a helping hand to peers and juniors alike.

"In her memory, we commit ourselves to pick up where she left and always emulate her hard work. Her life and legacy will forever be engraved in our hearts and minds. She will be dearly missed by the entire public service." 

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