Richmond’s recently-appointed boss, Sikhombiso Mthembu (60) died of Covid-19 in the early hours of Thursday morning.
He is the third senior official from Richmond who died within three weeks.
The senior human resources officer, Tyran Andrew Ramnath (38), apparently died on December 21. Shortly before that, Richmond had lost strategic manager, Bigboy Mhlongo, who also died last week after his diagnosis with Covid-19. Mhlongo was laid to rest on Monday.
Richmond has had several positive cases in December including Mthembu and the chief financial officer, Msizi Ngcobo.
The Witness previously reported that the staff blamed the human resources department for the outbreak which they said was due to the negligence. They said the department failed to implement the Covid-19 protocols when the first few cases were reported which allegedly exposed more employees to the virus.
The municipality’s spokesperson, Sibonelo Press Bhengu, said that Mthembu has provided the municipality with excellent leadership.
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He spent 12 years at the municipality as a strategic corporate manager.
The mayor, Simenenkosi Samora Ndlovu, said, “He was passionate about the Richmond area and it’s potential and very proud of it’s administration.
“His passing leaves a huge gap which will be difficult to fill. We are dealt a big blow as he was a true serving leader.”