Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza dies of Covid-19 at the age of 63.

Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza dies of Covid-19 at the age of 63.

 

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Jabu Mabuza, a widely admired businessman, died from Covid-19 complications on Wednesday, his family announced.
Cape Town – Former Eskom board chair and businessman Jabu Mabuza passed away due to Covid-19 complications, his family confirmed on Wednesday night.

“It is with deep sadness and sorrow to inform you of the passing of our beloved husband and father Dr Jabu Mabuza,” the family said in a statement.

“He passed away on Wednesday 16 June following Covid-19 complications.”

The South African businessman served on several national and international companies’ boards in various industries.

In 2017, the University of Witwatersrand awarded him with an Honorary Doctor of Commerce degree in recognition of his entrepreneurship achievements and his contribution to the South African economy.

Mabuza, 63, resigned unexpectedly from Eskom in early 2020 after apologizing for failing to meet a commitment to avoid power cuts during the holiday period. He had been appointed to lead the Eskom board shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa won the ANC leadership in December 2017.

“Jabu lived his life so beautifully and committed to the transformation of South Africa’s economy,” the statement from his family read.

I am at a loss for words. The passing of Jabu is tragic, devastating and a great loss for business and our country
“He was a pillar of strength for his family, a dedicated servant of the country, an activist in empowering black entrepreneurs, and committed to working for the transformation of corporate South Africa.”

Mabuza also served as chairman of various companies including casino and hotel owner Sun International and Anheuser Busch InBev’s African business following the merger with SABMiller in 2018.

Tsogo Sun
He also served as the former group CEO of casino and hotel owner Tsogo Sun Holdings Limited, the president of Business Unity South Africa (Busa), and chairman of Business Leadership South Africa.

Busa president Sipho Pityana called Mabuza a “powerhouse in the South African economy”, adding in a statement: “I am at a loss for words. The passing of Jabu is tragic, devastating and a great loss for business and our country.” — Reported by Nqobile Dludla, (c) 2021 Reuters

At 63, Jabu lived his life so beautifully and committed to the transformation of South Africa’s economy,” the Mabuza family said.

“He was a pillar of strength for his family, a dedicated servant of the country, an activist in empowering black entrepreneurs, and committed to working for the transformation of corporate SA.”

The family said they were grateful for the support and prayers during this time.

“We request the public afford the family privacy and space as we process the passing of our father. Further details will be communicated,” the family said.

News of Mabuza’s death comes as the country commemorated Youth Day in memory of a youth-led uprising in 1976 that began in Soweto and spread nationwide. The uprising changed South Africa’s socio-political landscape.

The protests started in African schools in 1975 when the Bantu Education Department instructed secondary schools to use Afrikaans as the language of instruction.

Mabuza was remembered by his family as a fighter for the political and economic freedom of South Africans.

“On this day in 1976, he had joined thousands of black youths who demanded the end of Bantu education,” the family said.

“He was later expelled for participating in that seminal protest that exposed the brutality of the apartheid regime and propelled the struggle for liberation.”

Mabuza currently served as Sun International Limited chairman and the lead independent non-executive director on the board of the MultiChoice Group.

He stepped down as the interim executive chairman and acting group chief executive of Eskom.

Eskom spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, declined to comment. He added that a statement would be issued on Thursday.

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