Ramaphosa extends condolences following death of renowned cardiologist

President Cyril Ramaphosa believes the death of renowned South African cardiologist Professor Bongani Mayosi was not only a loss to his family "but to the country as a whole".

"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 on Saturday.

Mayosi, who was the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and an A-rated National Research Foundation researcher, died on Friday.

He was also honoured with the Order of Mapungubwe in silver for his achievements in the international arena which have served South Africa's interests.

Read: Bongani Mayosi: Healing hearts, making history

National Orders are the highest awards that a country, through its president, bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals.

In a statement posted on UCT's website on Friday, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said the university was in touch with Mayosi’s family, "who is appreciative of all messages of support and condolences, but requests that their privacy be respected during this difficult time".

"The family will liaise with the university for further communication at the appropriate time," said Phakeng.