Zuma saddened by Ambrosini's death

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma expressed sadness at the death of IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini on Saturday.

"On behalf of government and all South Africans, we convey our heartfelt condolences to his family, the IFP and Parliament," he said in a statement.

"May his soul rest in peace."

Oriani-Ambrosini died on Saturday at the age of 53 after battling a rare form of inoperable lung cancer.

Parliament said Oriani-Ambrosini fought a valiant battle against cancer.

"We extend heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and his party, the IFP," it said in a statement.

"He was tenacious in pursuing issues about which he felt strongly."

Oriani-Ambrosini first became a Member of Parliament in 2009.

Earlier this year, after the 7 May elections, a very frail Oriani-Ambrosini lifted himself out of his wheelchair with the help of an ornate walking stick a year after announcing his diagnosis and read the oath of Parliament in his thick Italian accent.

The ANC and the DA also expressed sadness at the news of his death.

"Dr Ambrosini succumbed to his well-documented fight against cancer, leaving behind a legacy of courageous determination in the face of adversity," ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani said Oriani-Ambrosini was no ordinary politician.

"Although we did not always agree with his political views, we held him in high regard for his constitutional expertise, remarkable experience on governance matters and for the contribution he made to our democratic transition process as an advisor to IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi," Sizani said in a statement.

"He was a fierce and outspoken debater, a seasoned negotiator, a principled legislator and a passionate politician."

The DA said the country had lost a great man who would be missed.

"He was a fighter for human rights and democracy, a person of integrity who understood and advanced our cause, and a powerful friend," DA federal chairperson Wilmot James said in a statement.

"Mario will be remembered for his unparalleled contribution to Parliament and the defence of our freedom and the Constitution."

Theo Du Preez 2014-08-16 08:45:59 PM
RIP sir :-)
Kholo Warren Jesus 2014-08-16 08:46:17 PM
j z should be saddened that he is still alive.
Atholl Canterbury 2014-08-16 08:47:34 PM
One of the (very)few politicians who had trust, credibility and respect. R I P Sir
Thanduxolo Galada 2014-08-16 08:49:26 PM
Feels like someone I know :( I hope you join your loved ones Ambrosi. What happens when we die? I wonder.
WG Morgan 2014-08-16 08:50:45 PM
Note how the ANC has taken over in this matter of an IFP MP's death. News24 - Why did you not mention the IFP? Typical ANC. Let us get rid of them! Boycott the ANC
Michael Mooney 2014-08-16 08:53:56 PM
Piet 2014-08-16 09:49:11 PM
RIP Sir.
Wotnext 2014-08-16 10:18:40 PM
A man of integrity and great personal courage. Rest in peace.
Linda Lee Khalifa 2014-08-16 10:51:36 PM
Does it always have to end up with someone 6 feet under to make a difference, a lot of our citizens are dying because they can't get a supply of prescription medication, now the government should acknowledge that honourable Ambrosini's death is on them because had they legalised medicinal weed, he'd still be alive, so instead of being saddened & mushy about his death, in order to convey condolences to his family, our president & tha government should take tha steps to legalise medicinal weed not only to honour Ambrosini but also for all South Africans who need it then maybe he might just rest in piece knowing that he atleast made a difference from tha grave.
Gezani Robert 2014-08-16 11:00:50 PM
RIP _ Dr Mario Ambrosini.