NEWS of the death of Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo (53) on Friday, 9 July came as a shock.

Makhubo was admitted to hospital last week after he reportedly contracted Covid-19.

The family said they were aware many people wanted to pay their last respects, but they are urging the public not to visit the Makhubo home to avoid spreading the virus.

A website has been set up where mourners can send their messages of condolences and tributes to the family.

President Cyril Ramaphosa described Makhubo’s death as a loss to the City of Joburg and the province at large.

He extended his deepest condolences to Makhubo’s family, friends, colleagues and comrades.

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

Paying tribute to Makhubo, he said he was an experienced public servant in the City of Joburg as MMC for finance, mayor as well as a leader of the opposition in council.

Gauteng Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Co-operative governance MEC Lebogang Maile extended his heartfelt condolences to the Makhubo family on behalf of the Gauteng provincial government.

He said Makhubo’s death was a huge blow for local government, not only in Joburg, but provincially.

“He was a very disciplined and committed servant, who was dedicated to the service of the people and served with love and honour,” he said.

Former City of Joburg mayor and Action SA president, Herman Mashaba, also extended his sincere condolences to Makhubo’s colleagues, friends and family.

Makhubo became mayor in June 2019.

He worked towards accelerating service delivery in the city in poor and working class communities, displaying a hands on approach.