Oudtshoorn Municipality loses first official to COVID-19

Oudtshoorn, 29 June 2020 – It is with great sadness that Oudtshoorn Municipality announces the passing on of its Legal Services Manager, Mr. Pumzo Tofile (55) who has succumbed to COVID19 related illness on Saturday, 27 June 2020 in Cape Town.

Tofile who has joined the Oudtshoorn Municipality in 2012 as head of legal and contract services, lost his battle against COVID19 related sickness after having been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICT) at a Cape Town based hospital. Tofile is the first official of the Oudtshoorn Municipality to succumb to COVID19 related sickness.

Messages condolences from colleagues and councillors have been pouring on the Municipal internal WhatsApp groups and social media following receipt of the news of Tofile’s passing on.

“We are deeply saddened by a loss of a person of Tofile’s calibre,” said councillor Mwati, acting mayor the Greater Oudtshoorn. She added: “Since I met him in 2016, Tofile displayed characteristics of diligence, obedience and friendliness, as he could absorb any pressure with ease, despite all the challenges he had to face in his demanding position of being a legal advisor for the Council.”

The Oudtshoorn Municipality’s acting municipal manager, Mr Reginald Smit, who holds a position of Director for Corporate Services whom Tofile was directly reporting to, described Tofile as a soft spoken, dedicated official who performed his work with a high level of professionalism and diligence. 

“You could feel his presence through the way he interacted with his colleagues, he was never out of line with his behaviour. We will miss him as a colleague and friend,” Smit said.

“Tofile became ill in Cape Town when he returned home for the last time during the Alert level 4 period. I spoke to him a few times during the time that he was ill. My last discussion was on the Saturday when he was admitted to the Vincent Palotti hospital. The last few days I interacted with his wife who updated us on his condition. We so hoped and pray for his recovery,” said Smit.

As Tofile was residing in Cape Town and working in Oudtshoorn, his death does not form part of Oudtshoorn’s COVID statistics. This means there is not direct impact on the safety of either his office or the place he stayed at in Oudtshoorn.

The funeral arrangements have not been finalised by the family as yet. The Oudtshoorn Municipality, meanwhile, is organising a guard of honour as part of a send-off for Tofile as body will be passing from Cape Town through the Garden Route to his home town of Ezigodlo, Middledrift in the Eastern Cape, where he be laid to rest. The guard of honour will strictly be confined to the COVID19 regulations.

Tofile is survived by this wife Gcotyiswa and his two children ages 10 and 23 months.

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