COPE General Secretary and Former Free State Education MEC Papi Kganare Dies of Covid-19

Papi Kganare died of Covid-19 in a Johannesburg hospital. (Twitter, @COPE_SA)

  • Papi Kganare died on Saturday evening at Life Flora Hospital in Johannesburg after more than a month in the facility.
  • His wife Bridget was discharged from the same hospital two weeks ago and is on oxygen at home after also contracting Covid-19.
  • The founding member of COPE is survived by his wife and four children.

COPE Secretary General and former Free State Education MEC Papi Diratsagae Kganare has died of Covid-19.

This has been confirmed by COPE and his family.

He died around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at Life Flora Hospital in Johannesburg, COPE national spokesperson Dennis Bloem said.

Bloem said Kganare had been in hospital fighting Covid-19 for more than a month.

He is survived by his wife Bridget and their four children.

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Her brother-in-law and family spokesman Reginald Jordan said Kganare was admitted to hospital with Bridget over a month ago – she was discharged two weeks ago.

Jordan said:

Bridget is still on oxygen therapy and has taken the news of her husband’s death very badly, she is upset. We are trying to deal with this great loss. Mr. Kganare was a very family oriented person.

Kganare’s daughter and granddaughter also contracted the virus, but recovered, Jordan said.

“It has been a very difficult time for all of us since Mr. and Mrs. Kganare contracted Covid-19. They were hospitalized together at the same time. The girl and the granddaughter are still young, so they have recovered,” Jordan said.

The founding member of COPE was a former trade unionist who led the SA Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union as general secretary until the late 1990s, Bloem said.

Bloem said he had known Kganare since the late 1970s and had worked closely with him to build the United Democratic Front in the Free State.

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Bloem said COPE was devastated by Kganare’s death.

“He was a pillar of COPE. He was a founding member who built COPE for what it is today. I will never forget Comrade Papi. I will never forget his contribution to the struggle for the freedom – a selfless freedom fighter, ”said Bloem.

Bloem said he would remember Kganare for his sense of humor.

“He was a very pleasant person. You will never find Papi angry – where Papi was there were jokes, but he was very firm.”


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