Pretoria – Former City of Johannesburg council speaker and deputy chairperson of the ANC in the region Constance Bapela passed away on Friday. Speaker of the Johannesburg Council Vasco da Gama said he was informed of councillor Bapela's untimely passing from a heart attack on Friday, three days after she underwent surgery. "I was deeply saddened and shocked by the news, which is why I went to visit her family to pass my condolences," said Da Gama in a statement. Bapela served as the speaker under the previous administration, led by former executive mayor Parks Tau. Da Gama said at the time of her death, Bapela was serving as an ordinary Councillor of the ANC, as well as its deputy chairperson of the Greater Johannesburg Region. "She started at City of Johannesburg in 1995 as a Proportional Representation (PR) Councillor to date. She has given 20 years of service to the City of Johannesburg," said Da Gama. "I am saddened by her death, as it is a big loss to the City. I have personally worked with her for a very long time." Da Gama said a memorial service would take place on 21 February and that a special council meeting will be called as well. Bapela, who was the wife of co-operative governance and traditional affairs deputy minister Obed Bapela will be laid to rest on 24 February in Alexandra.