- The Buffalo City Metro is mourning the loss of its speaker, Alfred Mtsi.
- Mtsi was hospitalised on Tuesday due to Covid-19 complications.
- Mayor Xolo Pakati called the loss "devastating and depressing".
The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality has announced the death of Speaker Alfred Mtsi.
Mtsi was admitted to hospital on Tuesday night due to Covid-19-related complications.
"It is said to announce that this humble, soft-spoken, yet decisive and visionary leader of the people of the Easten Cape and Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality ceased to breath in the early hours of today.
"This dedicated activist of the ANC and a champion of the development of the people of South Africa has departed from this earth," Mayor Xolo Pakati said in a statement on Sunday.
Mtsi's death comes after the municipality lost two councillors - Gideon Norexe and Zukiswa Mankayi.
"These leaders had a strong collegial bond with the Speaker of Council based on the programme of creating better life for all the residents of Buffalo City Metro.
"Whilst still grieving for these leaders, we received these devastating and shattering news of the passing on of Councillor Mtsi," Pakati said.
The mayor said the loss was "depressing and devastating" for him, as "we were highly bonded with comrade Mtsi in ways unimaginable".
Pakati served with Mtsi during their activism years, up until his current position as mayor.
"We have really lost as a City. We have lost a comrade, a friend and a father figure for virtually all of us," he said.
He added that Mtsi had been an anchor and a voice of sanity when tempers flared, and had led with the "wisdom of Solomon", keeping council intact in difficult times.
Mtsi would be remembered as the go-to person for sound and honest advise, and he had been extremely loyal to the objectives of his organisation, the African National Congress.
"We are extremely devastated by this loss. When we feel like this as colleagues, we cannot even imagine the pain that is being felt by the family.
"We once more send our condolences to the Mtsi family, his friends and comrades," Pakati said.
The Eastern Cape Provincial government said in a statement on Sunday afternoon it offered "its heartfelt condolences to the family of the Speaker ... following his tragic death".
"On behalf of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government, Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane wishes comforting strength to the Mtsi family, the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, its Municipal Council, staff in his office, his friends, the people of the Buffalo City Metro, his contemporaries, especially his comrades in the African National Congress and all structures of the Alliance where he was actively involved as a leader," the premier's office said in a statement.