Top businessman and former chair of Eskom Jabu Mabuza died of Covid-19 on Wednesday – the same day South Africa recorded 13 246 new daily cases.
A self-made millionaire Mabuza rose from lowly business beginnings as a taxi driver to the highest corporate positions in South Africa.
“He is remembered for his commitment to the transformation of corporate South Africa,” said his colleague, Bonang Mohale the chancellor of the University of the Free State.
Mabuza held many prominent positions in business associations. More recently he was chairman of JSE-listed Sun International and Net1 UEPS Technologies.
Mabuza was also on the board of MultiChoice as a lead independent non-executive director.
On Wednesday – only a day after the country was placed on Alert Level Three Covid-19 preventive restrictions – Mabuza’s family announced his passing.
The family said Mabuza “died of Covid-19 complications”.
Sadly, Mabuza was one of the 136 Covid-19 fatalities recorded on Wednesday.
South Africa’s chaotic Phase Two Covid-19 vaccination roll-out is aimed at people over 60 years of age – Mabuza was 63.
The rollout was thrown into a further array when the country had to destroy two million vaccine doses that had been contaminated.
Messages of condolences have continued to pour in.
President Cyril Ramaphosa tweeted: “Jabu Mabuza was a monumental figure on so many terrains of our national life.
“He provided inspiration and leadership to many, from Daveyton, where he started his illustrious career as a taxi driver, to Davos where he made his presence and values felt in global debates.”
Ramaphosa said he was “saddened” by Mabuza’s passing.