President Jacob Zuma, political parties and the broadcasting community expressed shock and sadness on Sunday at the death of SABC television and radio presenter Vuyo Mbuli.
The SABC reported that Mbuli, 46, collapsed while watching a rugby match between the Cheetahs and the Reds at the Free State Stadium on Saturday night.
He was treated at the scene before being rushed to the Mediclinic hospital in Bloemfontein, where he later died.
Zuma praised Mbuli's contribution and said his death was a loss to the nation.
“It is hard to think of a more patriotic and positive person than Vuyo,” Zuma said in a statement.
“He was always cheerful and the whole nation will miss his smile and encouraging words.
“I wish to express, on behalf of government and the entire South African population, our words of condolence to the Mbuli family, friends and the SA Broadcasting Corporation.”
Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula described Mbuli in a statement as a giant of the broadcasting industry.
“We have just buried Ephraim Nkwe, one of the voices that led the views of (SA Youth Congress) during the pre-Codesa negotiations, now another giant is gone.”
On behalf of the sporting community, Mbalula extended condolence's to Mbuli's family.
“A true sportsman at heart, is gone... You ran your race, we appreciate your time in this lifetime. Rest in peace my dear brother, my friend.”
The African National Congress Youth League in Limpopo also expressed its sadness at Mbuli's death.
“His provenance for the use of all languages found in our country to greet... Morning Live (guests and viewers) was an indication of togetherness and acknowledgement of the diverse realities of our country,” spokesman Klaas Mabunda said in a statement.
Earlier, the SABC expressed its shock and “great sadness” at Mbuli's death.
Spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said in a statement that Mbuli, who was a Morning Live and SAFM presenter, had shown his dedication and loyalty to his job, as well as the South African public through his work.
“He was one of the first presenters on Morning Live, when it began to broadcast in November 1999 and he had maintained his position until his untimely death.
“This speaks volumes of the love that the public had for him, and the great talent and skill he possessed through his presenting and knowledge base.”
Kganyago extended “deepest and heartfelt condolences” to Mbuli's loved ones on behalf of the SABC board, management and staff.
Democratic Alliance spokesman Mmusi Maimane said working with Mbuli was always a pleasure.
“Vuyo was always fair - always asking the questions in a way that gave you a chance to state your side.
“He personified what it meant to be a warm, engaging and tolerant South African.
“On behalf of the DA, I extend our sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to his friends, family and colleagues at the SABC,” Maimane said.
The Congress of the People echoed these sentiments.
Spokesman Dennis Bloem described Mbuli as “a zealous newshound who stood for the truth in public interest and remained fiercely objective at all times”.
Mbuli had served the South African public through his work as a probing reporter, who was never afraid to ask difficult questions.
The Azanian People’s Organisation said Mbuli would be sorely missed, particularly in the run up to the 2014 national general elections.
Spokesman Funani ka Ntontela described Mbuli as a “shining , vibrant , seasoned and most celebrated talk show host”.
The party also praised Mbuli's multilingualism, saying this skill gave him the ability to make a broad spectrum of guests on his talkshows feel at ease.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu described Mbuli as “an outspoken linguist who took pride in celebrating the diversity of South Africa and its people”.
He said: “For decades, Vuyo Mbuli has been a constant presence in South African homes, tackling various issues of national importance with wit, charm, respect and an all-embracing and inclusive manner.
The ANC also praised Mbuli's tireless efforts in promoting dialogue on various issues of relevance to South Africa's national discourse.
“As we remember him, it is one of his favourite phrases that today rings true - 'mintiro ya bula bula' - your work speaks for you.”
The party extended its condolences to Mbuli's family, friends and colleagues.
“In this, the last time, his signature sign off - Sharp Sharp - came too soon and he will be sadly missed,” Mthembu said.
The Young Communist League of SA expressed its shock and sadness at Mbuli's death.
“The (YCLSA) is saddened by the news that renowned Morning Live anchor Vuyo Mbuli has passed away... We will miss his friendliness, fairness and being a very professional presenter,” spokesman Khaya Xaba said.
“We send our deepest condolences to his family, his colleagues at the SABC, and all the viewers of Morning Live,” said Xaba.
A family spokesperson told the SABC that the cause of death had not yet been determined.
The spokesperson requested that the family's privacy be respected as they tried to come to terms with Mbuli's death. - Sapa