President of the disbanded Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), Kebby Maphatsoe, passed away on Tuesday afternoon.
The association’s spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, confirmed the news to Newsnote, adding that the cause of Maphatsoe’s passing is yet to be communicated. But his brother, Joseph Maphatsoe, is quoted in some media reports as saying he suffered from hiccups from Tuesday morning and passed on at his home in Meyersdal in Alberton.
Maphatsoe served as Deputy Minister of Defence between 2014 and 2019. At the time of his death he was ANC Member of Parliament and Whip of the Study Group on Sports, Arts and Culture.
He was one of ANC freedom fighters who were exiled in Uganda during apartheid days and received military training in both Angola and the former Soviet Union. Upon returning to South Africa Maphatsoe served as treasurer for the ANC Greater Joburg Zone 7. He also became regional chairperson of the MKMVA and later elected the association's Gauteng provincial chairperson.
Maphatsoe is a former member of the Congress of South African Students COSAS and the South African Youth Congress. He also served as president of the South African National Military Veterans Association (SANMVA).
The ANC Parliamentary Caucus expressed "shock and sadness" at Maphatsoe's passing.
Maphatsoe became an MP in 2014 and previously served in the Portfolio Committee on Police as a Whip of the Study Group.
"In Comrade Maphatsoe's passing the ANC has been robbed of a dedicated, loyal and patriotic freedom fighter, a robust and fearless legislator as well as a capable leader.
"The ANC Caucus conveys its deepest condolences to his family, friends, and comrades during this difficult time. May his soul rest in eternal peace," said ANC Chief Whip, Pemmy Majodina in a statement.