Johannesburg - The death of SABC radio and television presenter Vuyo Mbuli has deprived South Africa of an intelligent and spirited individual, the Anglican church said on Monday.
“Our hearts go out to Savita and all who loved him, and I assure them of my own personal prayers and those of so many Anglicans across our country,” said Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in a statement.
Mbuli, 46, collapsed while watching the Cheetahs' 27-13 Vodacom Super Rugby win over the Reds at the Free State Stadium on Saturday night.
He was treated on the scene before being taken to the Mediclinic hospital in Bloemfontein, where he died.
The archbishop said he thanked God for Mbuli's dedication to building the nation and for challenging South Africans to be the best they could be.
“As I grieve for this life cut short, I also thank God that death, though terrible, does not have the final word, for Vuyo or for any of us,” he said.
The SA National Editors Forum said it was still shocked by the news of the passing of “Mr Sharp Sharp”, as Mbuli was known to them.
“He was also known for his hard work, dedication and an ability to keep his cool under pressure,” said Sanef chairman Nicholas Dawes.
SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo said Mbuli had left a legacy for the country's youth.
“He leaves a tremendous legacy, and I think for the young people that have watched him and followed him... this is a time for them to say 'I potentially could be the next Vuyo'... somebody who is completely fearless,” Mokhobo said in a Morning Live interview with Leanne Manas on Monday.
Manas broke down and cried on camera at the start of the Morning Live television programme which she anchored with Mbuli on the daily.
In an SA FM interview on Monday, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel described Mbuli as a kind and courteous person.
“All of us will miss him,” he said.
At the time of his death Mbuli was hosting Morning Talk on SA FM.
Inkatha Freedom Party secretary-general Sibongile Nkomo said the party would mourn Mbuli.
“He was not simply a journalist... his life's work was for this country he loved,” she said.
“His contribution was not limited to journalism, but he was involved in every sector of our society, giving his contribution of leadership to bring change, improvement and growth.”
The African National Congress in Limpopo praised Mbuli's broadcasting skills, describing him as 'extraordinarily versatile'.
Provincial secretary Joy Matshoge said Mbuli was the essence of great television and radio news.
“Not only telling the facts, but that wonderful deep, warm voice: that touched the people's hearts.”
He had been part of many homes across South Africa, making his death a sad moment for all South Africans, the Gauteng legislature said earlier.
“In the midst of mourning his untimely death, let's equally celebrate his life and remember his contribution towards harnessing our democracy and the amazing ways in which he touched our lives daily,” it said.
On Sunday, President Jacob Zuma, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma sent their condolences to the Mbuli family.
The SABC said a memorial service would be held at its headquarters on Wednesday.
According to the family, the funeral service would be held on Friday.
Further details of the two events would be released later in the week. - Sapa