Leading UCT cardiology Professor Andrzej Okreglicki died in a car accident in the UK on Sunday.
Okreglicki, 51, was on his way from Devon to Heathrow Airport when he was involved in the accident.
He had been killed on impact, said Bongani Mayosi, a professor and head of the department of medicine at UCT and Groote Schuur Hospital.
Okreglicki was an avid ultra-marathon runner and on Saturday he completed the Ultra Trail South West in the UK.
He was seen as a giant in cardiology on the continent and was world renowned, Mayosi said.
Even though implanting pacemakers was his forte, “he was a unique all-rounder in terms of his technical expertise and operated efficiently in all aspects of cardiology, not just in one area; he moved easily across specialist areas”, Mayosi said.
Okreglicki studied and trained overseas and on his return to SA was instrumental in expanding and establishing a comprehensive electrophysiology service at Groote Schuur Hospital.
He was responsible for introducing new techniques and procedures and, under his guidance, the electrophysiology service grew considerably and provided comprehensive care and training, not available in other academic cardiology services in this country.
Professor Patrick Commerford said Okreglicki had established a national reputation as an excellent teacher at many levels. ”He had a reputation among his colleagues for dogged determination and persistence when performing difficult and complex procedures
,” Commerford said.