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City honours fallen firefighter<span><p><br>The City of Cape Town paid tribute today to one of its firefighters who was lost to COVID-19.</p><p>Divisional Commander, Makosandile Mbhokhwe passed away in hospital on Sunday 21 June 2020.</p><p>Mbhokhwe is survived by his wife and three children. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>The 48-year-old was based at the Fire and Rescue Service Training Academy in Epping. </p><p>‘Divisional Commander Makosandile Mbhokhwe will be sorely missed by his colleagues. He was a credit to the Fire and Rescue Service and was also named Officer of the Year at the 2018 Safety and Security Annual Awards – a testament to his calibre and contribution to the Service.</p><p>‘The City expresses its heartfelt condolences to his family and friends during this very difficult time, as well as his colleagues. This is the first staff member that the Fire and Rescue Service has lost to COVID-19, and we hope that the department will be spared any further loss of life,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure></span><span><p><br>‘Normally we tend to express acknowledgement for a person posthumously. In this case, we were indeed able to honour him with our Officer of the Year award while he was still with us - a rare privilege indeed,’ said Executive Director for Safety and Security, Richard Bosman.   </p><p>The Fire and Rescue Service traditionally honours fallen members with a Brigade Funeral or a Memorial Service for staff to attend.</p><p>As a result of COVID-19 protocols prohibiting large gatherings, the Service Facilitated a Guard of Honour that visited eight fire stations across the metropole this morning, to allow staff to pay their last respects.</p><p>This included Epping, Milnerton, Roeland Street, Lakeside, Mitchells Plain, Strand, Belhar and Goodwood. A memorial service was held at the Goodwood Civic Centre after the Guard of Honour, in line with COVID-19 protocols.</p><p>The Guard of Honour allowed staff members to observe a moment of silence and give the final salute to a very deserving Officer. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:3206px;" /> </figure></span><p>Tributes from the Head of the Training Academy where he last served, from the Chief Fire Officer Mr Ian Schnetler, from Alderman Smith and from his family were observed at a solemn ceremony at the Civic Centre, where the tributes and the reading of the Firefighter’s prayer and the tolling of the final bell in his honour took place. </p><p>‘We have been blessed as the City to have been a part of Officer Mbokwhe’s life. I have such fond memories of him and think back to his soft-hearted nature, his kindness, his humble spirit and above all, he was a person who lead his team with the utmost integrity! These qualities are rare and  our friend and colleague will be sorely missed – he was a true officer and a gentleman,’ added Alderman Smith.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p><span>​​</span><span>​​</span><span>​​</span>2020-06-25T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#f58faf55-8582-420e-ac46-eeb2f05bc6e6;L0|#0f58faf55-8582-420e-ac46-eeb2f05bc6e6|firefighter;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb1


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