Former Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Nico du Plessis dies of virus
Former Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Nico du Plessis, 64, has died after battling Covid-19.
He had been admitted to Netcare Greenacres Hospital.
The news was confirmed by his daughter, Charmel Bush, who said the family would like Du Plessis to be remembered as an activist and a champion of the poor.
Bush said Du Plessis loved rugby, church and community work and dedicated most of his time to serving people in his community.
“He was a people’s person, always helpful and went out of his way to help. He used to organise snack packs for homeless children and would collect clothing and distribute to the needy people,” Bush said.
“We would like him to be remembered as that selfless person who never turned anyone away. He would stress about other people’s problem.”
She said the family had lost their mediator and their voice of reason.
“He was the one we all depended, sorting out our family affairs and he was so organised.
“Even with funerals, he was the one that would take care of all those things. We are really devastated to be planning his funeral now.”
She said Du Plessis had been in intensive care for two weeks but at some point they believed he would recover.
“We are not certain where he contracted the virus but he was admitted [to hospital] which was difficult and traumatic because we are not allowed to visit.
“After a couple of days he was put on a ventilator.
“He was such a strong person, never ill and we were always holding on to hope that he would recover because of that personality. It has been hard to believe and to accept,” she said.
Du Plessis was a member of the PE Ex Rugby Players Association, St Marks Rugby Football Club and the non-profit Concerned citizens of PE Metro.
Friend Stag Mitchell called Du Plessis one of the best councillors Port Elizabeth ever had.
He said he recruited Du Plessis to politics and even after his councillor days they still worked together in civil society structures.
Childhood friends Nico Philander, who grew up on the same street as Du Plessis, said: “All his brothers played rugby and so it was natural for him to also play.
“We have known each other for more than 20 years and we were together in the ex-players’ association for six years.
“He was also very religious and a very caring person.
“You can ask anyone in Helenvale, each one will have a story about the worship sessions he used to organise.”
Du Plessis was a former DA Ward 13 councillor who defected to the ANC just before the 2016 local elections.
In early 2016, the DA’s Eastern Cape disciplinary committee found Du Plessis guilty of bringing the party into disrepute for improperly sourcing a ward discretionary fund available to all councillors to help their constituencies.
Du Plessis denied any wrongdoing.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.