Former Telkom chairman and businessman Jabu Mabuza has passed away. His family said in a statement that he passed away on Wednesday, South Africa’s Youth Day, following COVID-19 complications.
Mabuza has held a number of directorships within the Southern Sun and Tsogo Sun Groups as the Former Group Chief Executive of Tsogo Sun. He served on the Board of South African Tourism for nine years and as its Chairman, for six years, ending May 2012.
He was also the chairman of Eskom.
“He was a gallant fighter for the political and economic freedom of South Africans. On this day in 1976, he had joined thousands of black youths who demanded the end of Bantu education. He was later expelled for participating in that seminal protest that exposed the brutality of the apartheid regime and propelled the struggle for liberation,” his family said in the statement.
“At 63, Jabu lived his life so beautifully and committed to the transformation of South Africa’s economy. He was a pillar of strength for his family, a dedicated servant of the country, an activist in empowering black entrepreneurs and committed to work for the transformation of corporate SA.
“The family is grateful for the support and prayers during this time. We request the public afford the family privacy and space as we process the passing of our father. Further details will be communicated.”
Outside of our South African boarders, Mabuza served on the boards of Tanzania Breweries Ltd (TBL), and Castle Brewing Company in Kenya. He served on the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in Washington DC as a Board Member and on the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in England – UK as an Executive Committee Member, Chairman of the Regional Business Council for World Economic Forum (WEF). Has taken part of B20 G20 Delegation to all the B20/G20 Summits and matters over the years. He was appointed to the Concordia Leadership Council based in New York – USA.
Mabuza was born in February 1958 in the town of Waterval Boven, South Africa. His family was later forcibly resettled in White River on trust land, and Mabuza lived alternatively with his two grandmothers. He later went to live with an aunt in Daveyton. While in junior secondary school, Mabuza was expelled for being caught in the 1976 student protests in Soweto. He graduated in Durban and from 1981 until 1982 attended the University of Limpopo.
In 1980 he became a clerk of the court at what was then called the Department of Bantu Affairs. He began driving taxi cabs for tuition funds while in Daveyton, later becoming a taxi owner. Also in the late 1980s he helped found the Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services, becoming the organization’s CEO in 1990.
Mabuza was the group CEO of Tsogo Sun Holdings.
On July 29, 2019 Jabu Mabuza was appointed as Acting CEO of ESKOM, replacing Phakamani Hadebe at the struggling State Energy utility.