Gordon Kegakilwe has died as a result of a coronavirus-related illness. He was the North West’s Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Member of the Executive Council (MEC).

“Kegakilwe was admitted with COVID pneumonia yesterday afternoon [Sunday, July 5] at the Vryburg Private Hospital and was immediately put on oxygen; and a decision was taken this morning [Monday, July 6] to transfer him to a medical facility in Klerksdorp,” the North West’s Premier Tebogo Job Mokgoro said in a statement. “He was transported from Vryburg to Klerksdorp in an ambulance. Upon arrival in Klerksdorp, he suffered a cardiac arrest. Despite all the efforts by the medical personnel, he succumbed and lost his life.”

Kegakilwe was appointed as MEC in 2019. According to Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Kegakilwe understood the “importance of the portfolio and carried out its responsibilities with dignity”.

“MEC Kegakilwe was passionate about the issues affecting the poor and the most vulnerable section of the population. He was a committed activist who has served the province in various roles before his appointment as the MEC role,” she said to TimesLIVE. “During his tenure, he played an important role to ensure that his department is able to deliver on its mandate. He was able to lead effective planning [and] coordination and supported the development of habitable integrated human settlements. He worked tirelessly to preserve, protect and develop the institution of traditional leadership in the North West province.”

“He also contributed greatly not only to ensuring that municipalities fulfil their mandate, but to the efforts to ensure improved delivery of services to communities,” she added. “His contribution will be dearly missed by all of us – and by the people of the North West in particular.”

To date, the Nort West province has recorded 6 000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and a total of 36 deaths.

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