The medical fraternity and the higher education sector are mourning the passing of one of the seasoned doctor and an academic Professor Lungile Pepeta.

Pepeta died of COVID-19 related illness at a Port Elizabeth hospital on Friday evening. He was executive dean of health sciences at the Nelson Mandela University.

Pepeta played a vital role in the establishment of the Nelson Mandela University’s Medical School, which the university is gearing up to open.

He’s a renowned Paediatric Cardiologist in the country and was recently appointed as the chairperson of the Medical Schemes by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Messages of condolences pour in following the passing of Professor Pepeta:


Nelson Mandela University’s Vice-Chancellor professor Sibongile Muthwa says Pepeta played a leading role in the University’s response to COVID-19 within the institution and the community at large.

“He had extensive experience in working with key stakeholder in the health and higher education sector; provincially nationally, continentally and beyond. It is these fine credentials and his unwavering commitment to finding sustainable solutions in the health sector that makes him an immense loss. His humility and heart for ordinary people will be sorely missed. Mandela University extends its deepest condolences to his wife, family, his students and colleagues, and lowers its banner in honour of this trailblazer and leader par excellence.”

Tribute by Premier Oscar Mabuyane

Professor Pepeta also formed part of the provinces panel of experts that advised Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s administration on how to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mabuyane says he will remember Professor Pepeta for being humble and dedicated to nation-building. To this effect, the premier has written to President Cyril Ramaposa to request him to accord the Professor an official provincial funeral.

“We writing to the President as you know it’s only him that can grant that honour. We believe that this man deserves such an honour for the entire health sector. He has outdone himself and done things beyond his age.”

Head of Health, Dr Thobile Mbengashe has described Pepeta as a rare breed and a visionary.

“I have worked with him and been in his presence with all his extraordinary ideas about how we could make changes. We are very saddened and shocked; I know his friends and his students and some of them are specialists. We hope all the work he has done the province will continue to build healthcare for the NHI; that was his dream.”

Oscar Mabuyane to request an official provincial funeral for Professor Lungile Pepeta:

Nehawu pays tribute to Professor Pepeta

Nehawu deputy Secretary, Sweetness Stokwe, says they will remember Prof Pepeta for the enthusiasm he displayed at his work and love for humanity.

“He was a leader not like many. Students loved him because even in times when students would have problems, he would come down and talk to them; something that is very rare. He was a people’s person, very humble and easy to reach.”

The date for his funeral is yet to be announced.

Condolences continue to pour in for Professor Lungile Pepeta: