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Mandela University mourns passing of Professor Lungile Pepeta

It is with great sadness and an immense sense of loss that we at Nelson Mandela University learned of the passing of our Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Lungile Pepeta.

His passing is not only a great loss to the University, which is gearing up to launch its medical school, but to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Eastern Cape and country.

Professor Pepeta joined the University on 1 January 2017 as the vision for establishing a medical school that offers an alternative educational model towards meeting the country’s growing need for health professionals was gaining momentum.

As a renown Paediatric Cardiologist, he had extensive experience in working with key stakeholders in the health and higher education sector, provincially, nationally, continentally and beyond. More recently, he helped spearhead the University’s response to COVID-19 within the institution, in communities and society at large, working with healthcare professionals, and education, business and political leadership.

Professor Pepeta was extremely passionate and committed to South Africa’s health sector, particularly in the Eastern Cape, where he was raised, studied and spent the bulk of his illustrious career.

His commitment to public health was evident during his tenure at Dora Nginza Hospital in his capacity as Acting CEO and Acting Clinical Governance Manager.

It was this passion and commitment that made him the perfect fit for what Mandela University envisaged as a model for its Health Sciences Faculty and Medical School, which has a focus on primary healthcare, that is preventative rather than curative, working to serve particularly the poor and least served parts of our country.

He has a proven track record as an agent of change wherever he has worked – from his stint as a medical intern in 1999 in the rural Dordrecht hospital right up to his tenure as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, where he showed stellar stewardship.

He was an embodiment of servant leadership.

It is these fine credentials and his unwavering commitment to finding sustainable solutions for the health sector that makes this an immense loss, and his humility and heart for ordinary people that will be sorely missed.

Mandela University extends its deepest condolences to his wife and family, his students and colleagues, and lowers its banner in honour of this trailblazer and leader par excellence.


Professor Sibongile Muthwa


 Nelson Mandela University

 7 August 2020