Mzimasi Mgebisa. Photo: SABC

PRAIA, Cape Verde – Sports and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi and Safa president Danny Jordaan have expressed shock following the sudden passing on of former SABC TV Sport presenter Mzimasi Mgebisa.

Mgebisa died on Tuesday morning, sending shock waves through the sporting fraternity.

“This is sad news for the entire football fraternity. The passing of this talented presenter is indeed a major blow. The country still needs such talent because we have huge events coming up and all hands will be needed on deck to communicate and promote various football events,” Nxesi, who has accompanied Bafana Bafana to Cape Verde for Friday’s World Cup qualifier, said on Wednesday.

“We are now currently in Cape Verde, where Bafana is playing an all important Fifa World Cup qualifier match. The country needs people like Mgebisa to talk about these events. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.”

Jordaan said the passing away of Mgebisa was a sad day for football.

“He was among the few remaining true football journalists who understood the football dynamics and culture. He was not only a football analyst but a passionate and committed football person.

“Today that voice is silenced and we are really gutted. We will miss Mzi’s voice. May his soul rest in peace.”

Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Faith Mazibuko also paid tribute to former Sunday Times journalist and television sports analyst Mgebisa, who passed away on Tuesday at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg after kidney failure.

“It is with heartfelt sorrow and pain that I learned of the passing of Mzimasi Mgebisa. Mzi played a significant role in educating our nation about sport, especially the football industry.

“A well-spoken, funny and a happy soul, Mgebisa always gave his opinions without fear or favour.

“He played his part in both print and broadcast media, and has opened doors for young up-and-coming journalists to look upon his work as an inspiration and motivation to follow on his footsteps.

“He will be greatly missed. May his soul rest in peace, his legacy continue to be an inspiration, and may his family find strength in the support from the sports media fraternity and the nation at large.”