South Africa

We Remember Anncha Kepkey

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared three days of mourning, from November 25 to 29, for victims of Covid-19 and gender-based violence.

Through our We Remember campaign, we too will pay tribute to some of the more than 20 000 people who have died due to the coronavirus pandemic and commemorate women who have died violently at the hands of men.

We remember Anncha Kepkey

Anncha Kepkey, the assistant manager at the trauma unit at Tygerberg Hospital, is just one of the many frontline workers who have died due to Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

Wife and mother of two Anncha Kepkey, 53 from Parow Valley dedicated years of working at Tygerberg Hospital after starting out as a professional nurse in the Trauma Unit in 1990.

She was promoted to operational manager in 2007, and again in April this year to assistant manager for trauma emergency services.

At her funeral, her family urged the public to take the pandemic more seriously, calling this “her new profession”.

Her husband William Kepkey said: “This was a remarkable lady. I think a lot of these people who were close to her are now extra careful. Our hearts are broken, but the mere fact that if we can save five people’s lives... then she has done her duty.

“This is serious. This is not a joke. My wife died in the line of duty but her new career is to make you guys aware in order to save more lives. Our family is shattered; within three weeks’ time, our first grandchild is going to be born. She is not able to see her grandchild.”

Volene Werely‎ was among several other nursing colleagues who wrote about Kepkey on the Nurses who Care Facebook page: "She was one of the most energetic, friendly and warm nurses, not forgetting exceptional as an Emergency trained Nursing Practitioner. The colleagues and loved ones are heartbroken today. May God's peace abound.

"She will remain a HERO in Nursing!!!!! Never will she be forgotten!!!"

Haneem Sajeeda Haroun Salie posted: "It was really an honour to work with her and know her. I cannot describe in words what a wonderful person and nurse she was."

To the families of those who have died from Covid-19 or gender-based violence this year, we share your pain, we know their names and most of all, we remember.

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