'It's false information' - Kebby Maphatsoe's brother denies rumours death was related to Covid-19 jab

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Former MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe
Former MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe
Gallo Images/Lihlumelo Toyana
  • Kebby Maphatsoe's brother has denied allegations that he died after receiving his second Pfizer vaccine dose.
  • He said the former MKMVA president died after suffering a heart attack at his home.
  • Maphatsoe will be laid to rest on Saturday following a service in Soweto.


The former president of the now-disbanded Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), Kebby Maphatsoe, died at his home in Alberton after experiencing a cardiac arrest, and not in hospital after receiving his second dose of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine.

Maphatsoe's brother, Joseph Maphatsoe, rejected what he described as "fake reports" that his brother had died as a result of complications experienced following his second jab of the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said: 

They said he died after taking his second Covid-19 jab on the 28th of August, which is wrong, it's false information. He actually took his second jab on the 22nd of August and he had been okay. He responded well, there were no after-effects.

READ | MKMVA head Kebby Maphatsoe has died

"On Tuesday 31 August around 11:45, I realised I missed Kebby’s wife’s phone[call] and I responded immediately, and she said, 'brother please come home immediately'.

"I found him lying quietly in his home and I realised something was very wrong. I then proceeded to try and resuscitate him, but there was no response except for a pulse that seemingly increased.

Maphatsoe's brother said:

The paramedics arrived around 13:00 and they tried to resuscitate him, but eventually proceeded to conclude that the cause of death was cardiac arrest, and not as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 vaccine.

He also challenged allegations that the former MKMVA president had died in hospital, saying he was certified dead by the paramedics at his home.

Maphatsoe was no 'sellout'

Joseph Maphatsoe also strongly dismissed allegations that his brother was a deserter or enemy agent.

"There were rumours that Kebby [Maphatsoe] was running away from the camp [during apartheid] and that he was an enemy agent. I ended up fighting with him that he ought to give his side of the story, but because he loved his organisation, he said no, if I can’t honestly say what had happened I would hurt the ANC."

MKMVA member Bafana Mahlabe, who was programme director at the funeral, echoed similar sentiments. He said he had trained and fought alongside Maphatsoe and, in all that time, he did not know him to have been a "sellout".

"We want to dispel the notion that he ran away as a sellout, he merely escaped there in order to get the attention of leadership to tell them what was exactly happening there, things that I will not share there.

"Kebby was a colleague, a personal friend to me, and he was no coward or sellout. Those who speak about this thing must come to us and ask us so that we can tell them what happened exactly, and I can say this with confidence because I was there personally," said Mahlabe.

ALSO READ: OBITUARY | Kebby Maphatsoe: No stranger to controversy

Johannesburg Mayor Jolidee Matongo described Maphatsoe as being at the forefront of forging unity within the ANC.

"It is testimony to the values that comrade Kebby Maphatsoe believed in that, in his last will and testament, he specifically asked that his funeral be a sight of unity rather than a site of division, because Kebby understood that to be united does not mean we have to speak with the same tone of voice. He understood that unity and uniformity are not one and the same thing," he said.

Also in attendance at the funeral service in Protea Glen, Soweto were ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe, Public Service Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane, and suspended ANC member Carl Niehaus.


If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

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