South Africa


Family of former Joburg mayor says doctors did all they could to save him after car crash

Family of former Joburg mayor says doctors did all they could to save him after car crash
Former Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Moerane died in hospital on Wednesday evening after a car accident last week (Photo: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)

It has been a sombre evening for many in politics after the death of former Johannesburg mayor Mpho Moerane, announced by a family representative on Wednesday evening.

The family of former City of Johannesburg mayor and ANC caucus leader Mpho Moerane say doctors did everything in their power to keep him alive. 

The announcement about his tragic death was made by family representative Mike Maile alongside the ANC’s Keith Khoza at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. Moerane had been in a critical condition after a car accident on Monday last week.

He sadly did not respond positively to treatment and with heavy hearts and deep sorrow, we confirm that we lost our beloved Mpho this afternoon. His passing has deeply pained us; let me add that he was certified dead 5.54pm.

“We have continuously stated that he is in a critical condition and the doctors did their best that they could. He succumbed to his injuries,” Maile said.

While the precise details of the accident are still unclear, Moerane is said to have been driving from Alexandra to his home in Mondeor, south of Joburg, when the crash occurred. He was travelling alone.

Maile addressed rumours about Moerane’s death which had been doing the rounds before the official announcement, saying it was reckless for people to circulate unverified information.

“It is unfortunate that Mpho was killed many times before being certified dead by those qualified to do so. I do not know or understand why people continued spreading rumours despite us telling them Mpho was still alive. 

“I do not understand and will never understand. It traumatised the family. I hope the abuse of social media stops. You cannot post unverified information,” he said.

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Current Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse described Mpho Moerane as passionate about serving local communities.

“Councillor Moerane, although seated across the aisle of council, was always eager to engage on the development of the city, and on how we as leaders in Johannesburg could collectively work to serve the interests of residents, because, before all else, we are servants of the people and not just party political representatives.

“‘Bitso’ (my namesake), as we affectionately used to call each other, will forever hold a special place in my heart — not just as a colleague, but also as someone I called a friend.

“On behalf of the Joburg multiparty government, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to his wife, Fikile, and four children, as well as his political home, the ANC. 

“This is a time of collective mourning for the city and beyond,” a statement from Phalatse said. 

Moerane is the third ANC councillor in Johannesburg to have died in the space of a year. Former Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo died from Covid complications shortly after his replacement, Jolidee Matongo, died in a car accident. 

Moerane was appointed mayor just a month before the November 2021 local government elections. His time at the helm was cut short when the ANC lost the city to the DA. 

Before being appointed mayor, he served as MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services. 

Moerane’s death comes just a week before the ANC’s Johannesburg conference. He had been lobbying to be elected chairperson.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the ANC hailed him for dedicating his life to activism and described his passing as a “great loss to the movement and society at large”.

“Born and bred in Alexandra, comrade Mpho Moerane was highly conscious of the challenges faced by the community he was born in, and, as such, the late 80s saw him become a student activist, and his activism grew beyond the corridors of the institution of learning. His entire life was anchored by service to others.

“Comrade Mpho will be remembered for his lifelong activism and for dedicating his youth to the African National Congress. He leaves behind a legacy of having championed the call by [former ANC president] Oliver Tambo to make apartheid unworkable and our country ungovernable in his days as a youth activist.

“To this end, the ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, the residents of the City of Johannesburg, fellow councillors, comrades in arms and the entire liberation movement. We wish them strength and fortitude during this difficult time,” the statement read. DM


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