Nelson Mandela University mourns passing of Professor Lungile Pepeta

It is with great sadness and an immense sense of loss that the colleagues at Nelson Mandela University learned of the passing of the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Lungile Pepeta in August 2020. 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 South Africa.

Professor Pepeta joined the University on 1 January 2017 as the vision was gaining momentum for establishment of Medical School that offers an alternative educational model towards meeting the country’s growing need for health professionals.

As a renowned 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 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 Nelson 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.