Cape Town – Professor Lungile Pepeta, the chairperson of the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS), has been buried in the Eastern Cape.
Pepeta, who had only started the job in June, died of Covid-19 after battling the illness for several weeks. He was the second CMS chairman to die of the virus after the passing of Dr Clarence Mini.
His funeral was held on Wednesday in Bizana, Eastern Cape.
“South Africa has lost one of her best sons – confident, knowledgeable, articulate and inspiring.
’’One of the top thinkers, a brilliant mind, an outstanding academic and a pioneering researcher,’’ Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Thursday.
’’He was a visionary who held high hopes for our country and an innovator who always harboured dreams of a better South Africa and spent time figuring strategies to to take this nation to the future of his ideals.
’’We convey our deepest condolences to his beloved family, his colleagues and his patients.
’’May the memories of his contribution to mankind console you as we adjust to life without him. May it comfort you to know that we share in your grief.”
He had been an ordinary member of the CMS since his appointment in November 2017. A seasoned health specialist and academic, Pepeta served as the executive dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.
A committed public servant, Pepeta dedicated his life to healthcare in the Eastern Cape, working for various public hospitals in the field of paediatric cardiology.
His main life purpose, in recent years, has been the establishment of the Medical Faculty at the Nelson Mandela University in the Eastern Cape, the Health Department said.
’’He worked tirelessly on this mammoth task and finally accomplished this feat recently.’’
Pepeta held an MBChB from the University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University), a Master of Medicine in Paediatrics from the University of the Witwatersrand as well as a Fellowship of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (US).
He had been in the process of completing a PhD in Paediatrics from the University of Stellenbosch.
His postgraduate qualifications included a Diploma in Child Health, Fellowship of the College of Paediatricians, and a Certificate in Cardiology from the College of Paediatricians.