City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue mourns passing of divisional commander due to COVID-19

26 June 2020

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SOUTH AFRICA – The City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service mourns the passing of Divisional Commander Makosandile ‘Mac’ Mbhokhwe due to COVID-19 on Sunday, 21 June 2020. Chief Fire Office Ian Schnetler said, “It is with sad regret that we heard of the passing of Divisional Commander Makosandile ‘Mac’ Mbhokhwe due to Coronavirus complications on Sunday afternoon. ‘Mac’, as he was fondly known, joined the Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service in August 1995 as learner fire fighter and remained with Cape Town until 2005, where after he joined Stellenbosch Fire and Rescue as a senior fire fighter. He was promoted to platoon commander at Stellenbosch in January 2006 where he served as such for four years until January 2010, when he joined West Coast District Municipality Fire Service as a station commander. He remained at West Coast and re-joined Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service as a station commander in May 2013. Whilst with Cape Town, he was promoted to divisional commander and was an integral part of the Fire Service Academy Training staff, responsible for training and recruitment; he served at the Training Academy in Epping until his untimely death on Sunday, 21 June 2020 at the age of 48,” added Chief Schnetler.

“Mac was devoted to the fire service. He was a very meticulous person and his drive for learning was what suited him best for his position at the Training Academy. He showed the utmost respect to everyone, even when disciplining his staff. He was not scared of taking on new or different challenges and would seek guidance whenever he needed. His career was evident of his drive to excel. A great team player he was. We are grateful that we knew him as a fire fighter and officer but also as a person with values, which could not be shaken,” said Clinton Manuel, Head: Training, City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service Training Academy at Epping Fire Station.

He leaves behind his wife Mamu and his two sons and daughter, Luxulo, Sibablalwe and Chulumanco.

“Mac was a fire fighter and a good officer, having received the annual Safety and Security Directorate ‘Officer of the year’ award in 2019 as a divisional commander; he was a quiet, gentle, humble and dedicated officer of the service, who was destined for higher honours. He was liked by all and will be sorely missed at the Academy by his colleagues and by the management, officers, fire fighters and staff of the Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service. A truly great loss to our family,” said Chief Schnetler.

He added, “Go softly my friend and find peace in the hands of the Lord”.

Sources: Chief Ian Schnetler and Clinton Manuel, City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service

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