Kuils River loses activist to Covid-19

Community activist Vern Jeftha, 60, died of Covid-19.

The Kuils River community is mourning the death of community activist and peace officer Vern Jeftha who lost his battle with Covid-19 on Friday December 11.

Mr Jeftha, 60, had been part of the Gersham sector 2 neighbourhood watch and Kuils River sector 1 NHW for the past 15 years.

He recently started a contract with the City of Cape Town as a Ward Safety Officer acting as a safety ambassador, where he needed to attend to any crimes reported and assist police, and make sure the government’s restrictions were being adhered to during the Covid-19 lockdown.

His relatives and friends believe that it was during patrols that he contracted the virus.

His son, Chad Jeftha said the family was shocked when they heard he had tested positive on Thursday December 10 and the next day his dad died.

“My dad was a disciplined man who had a strong sense of social justice and compassion for others.”

He said that his father instilled values of kindness, care and love for his family, and devotion to his children.

“He had a good sense of humour and was a competitive sportsman,” said Chad.

Graham Daniels from Highbury had been on the patrolling team with Mr Jeftha since the neighbourhood watches were started in Kuils River.

Mr Daniels said Mr Jeftha had become a part of his family and was always, “honest, to-the-point and jovial”.

He said Mr Jeftha enjoyed helping others and that legacy would continue within the community.

Ward 11 councillor Desiree Visagie said Mr Jeftha’s death came as a shock to many, including the other ward councillors in the Kuils River area.

“I have known him for many years through his work at the watches. He was always passionate about his work and I was very dependent on him,” she said.

Ms Visagie said Mr Jeftha enjoyed working in the community and was a “gentle-giant” with children.

“He will be sorely missed for his hard work and contribution to the community,” she said.

She encouraged residents to stay safe and continue to follow Covid-19 safety protocols.

Mr Jeftha leaves behind three sons – Chad, Jason and Lance – and has a 1-year-old granddaughter Zoe-Rose.

The funeral service of Mr Jeftha can be streamed live on YouTube on Tuesday December 15 at 3pm.

Kuils River safety ambassadors, from left Eric Fourie, Ward 11 councillor Desiree Visagie, Isaacs Laven and Vern Jeftha.