Both government and political leaders have been mourning the death of Johannesburg Mayor Geoffrey Makhubo as messages of condolences pour in. Makhubo’s death was confirmed on Friday by acting executive mayor Eunice Mgcina. She shared condolences with his friends and family, saying that she’d hoped that the executive mayor would beat the virus and return to work to lead the city as it continued to battle the pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods.
Makhubo passed away this morning, almost a week after being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 complications. He tested positive late in June and immediately used the opportunity to warn residents.
“Joburg is officially in a third wave and residents are urged to take the necessary non-medical precautions. Wear masks, maintain social distance and limit movement in compliance with the regulations.”
Mayor Makhubo’s family has asked for their privacy to be respected while mourning his death. They have also discouraged mourners and supporters from gathering outside his house.
President of ActionSA former Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba said: “I am shocked to hear of the passing of Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo. In these difficult times, we are reminded of how fragile life can be. Our shared humility will always come before our politics. My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, and colleagues in the ANC.”
The MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile, said that Makhubo’s death was a huge blow for local government.
“Mayor Makhubo died at a time where the City of Johannesburg was accelerating service delivery in communities, especially in poor and working-class communities. We are saddened by Mayor Makhubo’s death. This is a low blow not only for Johannesburg but provincially.”
The City of Joburg spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said that the news about Makhubo’s death was devastating.
“The executive mayor acting and the Speaker of Council will, in due course, announce any further details on the passing of the executive mayor.”
Geoffrey Makhubo was appointed as mayor of Johannesburg in December 2019. Prior to the appointment, he has held various positions in the city council, having served as the leader of the opposition in council from August 2016 and as the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance in the City of Johannesburg from 2011 to 2016.
He has also held the positions of leader of executive business in council and that of the chairperson of the governance cluster.
Makhubo obtained a B.Com degree from Witwatersrand University and a Management Advancement Programme (MAP) with the Wits Business School. He also held a Leadership in Local Government certificate from the University of Cape Town.