World-renowned UCT cardiologist Professor Bongani Mayosi died in Cape Town on Friday, 27 July 2018, at the age of 51 after allegedly committing suicide. His untimely death has sent shock waves throughout the university, the medical community and the whole country.
UCT’s vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng announced Mayosi’s death in a brief statement on Friday. “It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing away on Friday, 27 July, of Professor Bongani Mayosi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town,” said Mamokgethi.
In a follow-up statement, released on Saturday, Mamokgethi expressed her shock at Mayosi’s passing away and mentioned a few of the numerous accomplishments and accolades the celebrated cardiologist and researcher earned during his career, including the A-rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Order of Mapungubwe, Silver (2009). She also sent condolences to Mayosi’s family, students and colleagues. “Last night in a state of shock and devastation I informed the University of Cape Town community of the sudden passing of Professor Bongani Mayosi. I am still reeling,” she said.
“On behalf of UCT I extend heartfelt condolences to his wife, Professor Nonhlanhla Khumalo, daughters S’vuyile and Camagu and the rest of the family. I also extend condolences to the students and colleagues in the Faculty of Health Sciences and across UCT, and in the wider health sector, who knew and worked with Professor Mayosi. I share with you in the profound sense of loss his sudden death brings,” she added.
Mamokgethi concluded the statement by saying, “Professor Mayosi’s passing has shocked us as a campus community. I know many colleagues and students will feel the effects of this loss over the time ahead. This is a very sad time for us at UCT and difficult as it is, we will mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Professor Bongani Mayosi with the dignity and integrity that he embodied.”
Mayosi earned his BMedSci and MBCHB degrees at UKZN in 1986 and 1989 respectively, both with distinction. In 2003, he obtained his DPhil from the University of Oxford. He published over 250 scientific papers. It is reported that he attracted over R100 million in research grants since 2010. He worked as the head of the Department of Medicine at UCT from 2006 to 2016. In September 2016 he took up the post of Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, a position he was holding at the time of his death.
According to News24, Mayosi’s family revealed that he took his own life after struggling with depression for the past two years. He will be laid to rest on the 4th of August in Cape Town.