The death of Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa was confirmed by the Presidency late on Saturday night after rumours on social media surfaced late that evening.
The Presidency confirmed his death in a statement just before midnight on Saturday night. President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Ramaphosa expressed sadness about the spokesperson's death. Mamoepa had been in hospital since June for surgery.
At the time the Presidency released a statement of his ill health and Ramaphosa personally visited his spokesperson in hospital.
The Presidency said Mamoepa passed away at 11.15pm on Saturday night and jointly sent condolences to his family, friends, comrades and colleagues.
"The President and Deputy President conveyed their sincere condolences to Mr Mamoepa's immediate and extended family, comrades, friends and colleagues." the presidency said in a statement.
Mamoepa, a former political prisoner during apartheid. was 56 at his time of death. The presidency said he was highly regarded as a public servant and described as a veteran communicator who served the ruling party in various departments in government with distinction, the presidency said.
Ronnie Mamoepa and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
"This is a great loss to me personally, to the Presidency and government at large," said Ramaphosa.
"However, our thoughts are firstly and foremost with Ronnie's wife, Audrey, his children and his siblings. I offer my sincere condolences to Ronnie's relatives, friends, comrades and colleagues who have suffered the loss of someone who was much loved and respected across our country and beyond. We shall miss him greatly."