A senior executive in South Africa’s North West provincial government has succumbed to a COVID-19 related illness.
In a statement late Monday, North West Premier Tebogo Job Mokgoro announced the death of Gordon Kegakilwe, a provincial Member of the Executive Council (MEC) responsible for cooperative governance, human settlement and traditional affairs.
“MEC Kegakilwe was admitted with COVID-19-related pneumonia yesterday afternoon at the Vryburg Private Hospital and was immediately put on oxygen, and a decision was taken this morning to transfer him to a medical facility in Klerksdorp,” the statement said, referring to a larger city in the province.
It added that Kegakilwe suffered cardiac arrest upon his arrival in Klerksdorp in an ambulance and died despite efforts by medical personnel to revive him.
South Africa has nine provinces, and each has an executive council, which can also be referred to as a provincial cabinet. The Provincial Executive Council consists of the premier as head and between 5-10 MEC’s.
South Africa has the highest number of COVID-19 infections on the continent with 205,721 cases. At least 3,310 people have died from the disease since the first fatality was reported in the country three months ago.
The country is currently in its winter season, and officials expect an increase in infections. They have set up several field hospitals and isolation centers to deal with the anticipated surge.