Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday extended heartfelt condolences on the death of prominent South African cardiologist Professor Bongani Mayosi.
Mayosi's death was announced on Friday by UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng. Phakeng did not disclose the cause of Mayosi's death.
Mayosi was the dean of the faculty of health sciences at the University of Cape Town and an A-rated National Research Foundation researcher. In 2009, Mayosi was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe (silver).
According to a statement released by his family, Mayosi had been battling depression "and on that day took the desperate decision to end his life".
“His death is indeed an enormous loss not only to his family but to the country as a whole," Ramaphosa said in a statement.
"On behalf of government and South Africans as a whole, we convey our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and relatives, and the health science fraternity. May his soul rest in peace,” Ramaphosa said.
In a separate statement, the African National Congress in the Western Cape said it had "learnt with great sadness of the untimely passing of the great doyen of medicine in our country and the world".
"We are truly saddened by Professor Mayosi's untimely passing and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family, his friends, his colleagues, and his students at this trying time," the ANC said.