MBDA statement on passing of Board Chairperson, Mandlakazi Skefile

Issued by Mandela Bay Development
Johannesburg, Apr 19, 2022
Mandlakazi Ruth Skefile.

The Board, Management and staff of the Mandela Bay Development Agency, an entity of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, are deeply saddened by the passing of Chairperson, Mandlakazi Skefile. The news of Skefile’s passing came in the early hours of Friday, 15 April.

Having joined the Board in April 2019, Skefile was appointed as Board Chairperson in November 2020, and ably led the Agency during the heights of an unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic. Even when her health proved difficult, Skefile mastered the strength to execute her responsibilities with purpose and dignity. The Board, Management and the entire staff complement of the MBDA will miss her invaluable inputs, calm demeanour, voice of reason and big proponent for inclusion and thinking big.

We pass our deepest condolences to her husband, Motse and the children; we pray for strength and healing during this challenging time.

Statement from the family

Our beloved Mandlakazi Ruth Skefile finally succumbed to cervical cancer after battling the illness since 2019. Mandlakazi fought a good, long fight, always kept her spirits high; even during the toughest moments, she never gave up her will to live. A larger than life, but incredibly humble personality, Mandlakazi’s abundant energy to serve was unwavering, and she served as inspiration to many who face mighty challenges.

The family appreciates all the support received since this sad news broke, and once again this goes to demonstrate Mandlakazi’s expansive reach and influence in the many areas she served. As a devout Jehovah’s Witness congregant, the process to accompany her to the final place of rest will be directed by the protocols and processes of the church in consultation with the family.

To celebrate her magnificent life of service, the family encourages all organisations and sectors associated with Mandlakazi to freely get together in her memory.

Mandlakazi Ruth Skefile was born on 9 March 1975, is survived by husband Motse Mfuleni and four children aged between 14 and 30. Before joining the MBDA as a Board member and Chairperson in 2020, Mandlakazi played a significant role in the marketing of South Africa as preferred tourism destination through various platforms, including the more than 20 years at Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, service 2010 to 2019 as Chief Executive Officer.

At the time of her passing, Mandlakazi was also a Trustee of Sustainable Seas Trust, Board Member of the Port Elizabeth Opera House, and Cape Peninsula University Technology School of Tourism.

The official memorial service for our beloved Mandlakazi is scheduled for Thursday, 28 April and her funeral on 29 April.

More specific details will be announced in the coming days.