The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] mourns the passing of its member, Professor Gita Ramjee, who passed away on the 31st March 2020 from COVID-19 related complications.

Professor Ramjee joined NEHAWU on the 2nd December 2013 while she was Head of the HIV prevention unit at the South African Medical Research Council [SAMRC]. She remained a member in good standing until her untimely death. The national union is deeply saddened by her death and conveys deep and heartfelt condolences to her family especially her husband and two sons, friends, and colleagues.

She dedicated most her life to finding HIV prevention solutions for women and played a pivotal role in fighting for access to healthcare for women from poor backgrounds including those from rural areas. Her death is a huge blow in our fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and in her honour we must intensify the fight for zero new infections by abstaining from unprotected sex, being faithful to one partner and using condoms at all times.

The passing away of Professor Ramjee should underscore the need for all our people to exercise and follow best practices and ways to avoid getting infected by the corona virus including staying at home, observing social distance, wearing masks and gloves, washing hands with soap for 20 seconds or using alcohol based sanitisers. In this regard, we call on South Africans to comply and cooperate with entrusted authorities and their orders during the lockdown in order to flatten the curve as a means to avoid a spike in new infections. Moreover, we call on government to speak in one voice as Ministers have been issuing conflicting instructions and contradicting each other thus creating confusion during the lockdown and the broader fight to end the spread of the virus.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: