Joburg Mayor Makhubo's death 'a stark reminder of threat posed by Covid-19 pandemic' - Ramaphosa

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Mayor Geoff Makhubo. (Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)
Mayor Geoff Makhubo. (Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)
  • City of Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo will be remembered for his hard work.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa led the nation in sending condolences to Makhubo’s family, friends and comrades.
  • Makhubo has been described as a selfless leader who championed service delivery

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the death of City of Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo as a great loss.

Makhubo, who was also the ANC Johannesburg regional chairperson, succumbed to Covid-19 complications on Friday morning.

"The passing of Makhubo is a stark reminder of the threat posed by this deadly pandemic against which we are all extremely vulnerable," Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa has lauded Makhubo for his contribution to the national effort to fight the pandemic.

READ |  Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo has died of Covid-19 

"Since he received his diagnosis in June, Makhubo regularly posted public health messages urging people to take responsibility for their safety and that of others," Ramaphosa said.

Mkahubo has been described as an experienced public servant in the municipality. 

"Losing Makhubo at such a difficult time for the City of Johannesburg and the country is a blow; our thoughts and prayers are with the family and with his colleagues at this difficult time," said Ramaphosa.

The ANC said it was shocked and saddened by Makhubo's death.

Party spokesperson Pule Mabe said Makhubo belonged to the distinct generation of young lions vociferous in their fight against apartheid administration and its laws. 

"As a Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, he spent time serving our people. As a young man growing up in Soweto when the struggle against the apartheid regime was at its peak, Makhubo was inspired by how the people around him were selfless and waging war against the enemy, and he too joined in the fight.

"At the formative stages of his activism as a member of Cosas, he showed qualities of leadership which were later reaffirmed in various formations.

READ | Deputy national police commissioner has died from Covid-19

"He was a firm believer in education and only recently graduated with two master's degrees, each from the University of the Witwatersrand and another from the University of London. He believed activists should be educated to resolve the most complex and triple challenges of poverty, inequality, and unemployment. 

"He will be remembered for his unifying spirit, ardent love for young people and revolutionary zeal to better society. The ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, the City of Johannesburg and the entire liberation movement. 

"We hope they will find solace in the knowledge that the whole nation shares in their grief. We wish them strength and fortitude during this difficult time," Mabe said.

The South African Local Government Association appreciated Makhubo's leadership as the mayor.

Salga spokesperson Tebogo Mosala said: "He gave an honest rendering of his time and energy on the front line of local democracy in the City of Johannesburg, serving residents and communities in a way that gave them more say in the services they received.

"His contributions to the local government community were so profound and far-reaching that SALGA considers his passing an irreparable loss to the entire sector. SALGA wishes to convey its thoughts to his family, friends and colleagues once more. He will be missed immensely; we will long remember him."

READ | DA MP Cameron MacKenzie dies of Covid-19

MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and CoGTA Lebogang Maile said Makhubo died when the City was accelerating service delivery in communities, especially in poor and working-class communities.

"This is a huge blow for local government not only in Johannesburg but provincially as a whole. He was a very disciplined and committed servant, who was dedicated to the service of the people," Maile said.

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