JOHANNESBURG – Health Department spokesperson Joe Maila has died, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi confirmed on Friday afternoon.
He passed away on Thursday evening and the dates of his memorial and funeral services are yet to be confirmed.
In a statement issued a short while ago, Motsoaledi expressed shock and sadness saying, “It is with shock and a profound sense of sadness that I inform you of the untimely passing-on of the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, Mr Joe Maila. He passed on yesterday [Thursday] evening,” said Motsoaledi.
Motsoaledi said Maila was a great and hardworking person and his passing was a big loss to the health department and South Africa at large.
It is not yet clear the cause of his death although some reports claim he was a victim of a shooting accident at a rifle range.
The minister denied the claims saying, “The circumstances surrounding his death are not yet known to the Ministry.”
The department says Maila was in very good health in recent weeks and his passing was unexpected
Motsoaledi has also appealed to the media as well as the public to give the Maila family the space they need during this difficult period.
Joe Maila is survived by his wife and two children.