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Death of Dr Ivan Toms: Messages from the city manager, Achmat Ebrahim and the executive mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille

by City of Cape Town
on 26 Mar 2008
City of Cape Town
City of Cape Town

Death of Dr Ivan Toms: Messages from the city manager, Achmat Ebrahim and the executive mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille

Cape Town City Manager, Achmat Ebrahim has issued the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Dr Ivan Toms (55), Executive Director: City Health. He was found dead in his home in Mowbray this morning (25 March 2008).

"Police are investigating his death as a matter of course. When he did not turn up for the regular EMT (top management) meeting today, nor answered his phone, I asked our VIP Security to check on his whereabouts.

The police were alerted.

"Notifying his next of kin proved very difficult. His only living relative is a brother who lives in Australia. We have just managed to inform him via satellite phone on board a cruise ship near Hawaii.

"We had to make sure his family knew before announcing any details of his death. No funeral arrangements have been made as yet.

"This comes as a terrible shock. Ivan was widely known and respected in the medical fraternity. He was a hard-working, loyal and committed colleague. He was passionate about medical care, especially for the poor.

"Ivan Toms matriculated in Durban and had both a medical degree from the University of Cape Town and a Bachelors degree in Theology from Unisa.

"He started his local government work in 1980 by setting up a clinic in Crossroads. From 1983 to 1990 he lectured part-time in Community Health at the University of Cape Town. He was Doctor and Administrator for the SACLA health project from 1986 to 1990 which operated health clinics in six black townships in Cape Town.

"From 1991 to 1993 he was National Co-ordinator: Service Development in the National Progressive Primary Health Care Network, where he ran projects in rural and peri-urban informal settlements.

"He was Director of the Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) from 1993 to 1996.

"He joined the Cape Metropolitan Council as Director of Health Services in 1996 and became Head: Health Services for the then City of Tygerberg in 1997.

"In 1999 he became Director: Health Services for the City of Cape Town and became a member of the top management team and Executive Director for this portfolio on 1 September 2006.

"He presented papers at international conferences and served on a vast number of health related and community bodies. He was Vice-chairperson of the End Conscription Campaign and served on the Archbishop's AIDS task force.

"He will be sadly missed by many. His memory and zest for life will live on. I would like to extend my condolences to his brother and friends."


Executive Mayor Helen Zille said:

"Dr Toms distinguished himself in this organisation with his tremendous energy, commitment and enthusiasm for helping people and communities through his work.

"As Executive Director for Health he led his department to exceed its own targets for reducing Cape Town's HIV/AIDS and TB infection rates, and infant mortality rates.

"In 2006 he was awarded the bronze Order of the Baobab by President Thabo Mbeki for his role in fighting apartheid and sexual discrimination.

"He will also be remembered by the people of Cape Town for the work he did over the years to help build and support community structures in disadvantaged areas such as Manenberg.

"We will sorely miss our colleague and friend. Our organisation has lost one of its most talented leaders."

END

ISSUED BY:
COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 3719


MEDIA QUERIES:
PIETER CRONJÉ
DIRECTOR: COMMUNICATION
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 4592 CELL: 082 465 4965

ROBERT MACDONALD
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE MAYOR OF CAPE TOWN
CELL: 084 977 9888



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