On January 15, family members, colleagues and guests bid farewell to the late Busisiwe Modisakeng. She was the executive mayor of the Sedibeng District Municipality in Gauteng. A highly decorated member of government, she spent most of her life until her final hours, in service to her community.

Mayor Modisakeng’s funeral service was held in Ratanda, attended by a select group of guests as the COVID-19 regulations had to be observed.

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) held a virtual live stream for the mourners who could not attend.

The civic funeral service was led by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko. The procession began with the singing of the national anthem. This was followed by an opening prayer by Emfuleni Mayor, Reverend Gift Moerane.

“May the family find comfort, may her husband find healing. We pray for the mourners to go well as they take her to you,” he said.

Lesedi Municipality Speaker, Cllr Mluleki Nkosi welcomed the mourners and guests to Ratanda.

“He did what He think is right at the right time. We need to praise His name, He is God for now and forever,” said Mohapi Modisakeng. He said the loss was so unexpected time. “A loss to the Modisakeng family is also a great loss to the Heidelberg community,” he said.

Fellow colleague and speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Ntombi Mekgwe, spoke highly of the ‘younger sister’. She spoke of meeting her back in 1983 during the height of the unrest when police were looking for her. She met Busi when she enrolled in Ratanda Secondary School where they grew together.

Obituary of Busisiwe Joyce Modisakeng

Early Life: Busisiwe Joyce Modisakeng was on 30 October 1966 born in Greylingstad, where she did her primary schooling at Mlalankunzi Combined School from Grade 1 to Grade 7. In early 80’s the family moved to Heidelberg, Ratanda, where she pursued her Secondary Schooling at Ratanda Secondary School.

This was the beginning of an anti-apartheid activist, under the banner of Cosas, where she served as the secretary of Heidelberg Cosas Branch. She is married to Johannes Modisakeng. Together with her husband, she built a family while pursuing the fight in the height of the struggle. At a young age, she was in the forefront of the liberation of people and mobilized many to join the political movement.

Academic background

Busi Modisakeng holds various academic qualifications in Local Government. She holds a Local Government Tertiary Education qualification from Technicon SA. She further studied Leadership/Public and Project Management in various institutions in the country and abroad.

She has achieved certificate in Local Government and also on Executive Leadership.

Career profile

At the dawn of democracy, she was elected as Executive Mayor of Council in Lesedi Local municipality, from 1995 until 2011. During this era of governance she became the youngest Executive Mayor in Gauteng, she led the Executive Sector of Lesedi Local Municipality for more than a decade with agility and dignity.Throughout her leadership in Lesedi Local Municipality, she displayed great astuteness, integrity and discipline.

She has served on various positions, both in politics and other sectors like the Heidelberg Hospital, COSATU, Gauteng Tourism Agency and many others.

Modisakeng joined Sedibeng District Municipality as the Speaker of Council in 2011 until 2015. Later, she was deployed as the Executive Mayor until her passing. She also served as the member of the ANC Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee and SALGA until her passing. She remains adedicated and active member of both ANC and its Women’s League.

She sadly passed away on January 7 after COVID-19 related illness.

She is survived by her husband, four children and a multitude of relatives including the Sedibeng community as a whole.

Busisiwe Modsakeng was laid to rest at the Ekuthuleni Cemetery in Ratanda under strict lockdown regulations that limited mourners to a small number. However, she will always be revered by many as the ‘Mayor of the People’ as most of her present life was spent in service to the communities she served.

She will be remembered as a valiant public servant, community leader, a pioneering and passionate mayor. The is the longest serving mayor in South Africa since the dawn of Democracy.

Hamba Kahle Mbokodo, May Your Soul Rest in Peace…
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