Top cardiologist's 'desperate decision' devastates family
Colleagues of top cardiologist Bongani Mayosi, who took his own life on Friday, had been trying to help him beat depression.
The head of the South African Medical Research Council, Glenda Gray, said the 51-year-old dean of health sciences at the University of Cape Town had been "very stressed" by his job. "We had discussed an exit strategy on Monday night," she said.
The plan had involved Mayosi replacing Gray at the helm of the SAMRC. "If only we'd known how depressed he was. We are all feeling really bad we couldn't have done more to help him," said Gray.
A family statement confirmed by Advocate Ncumisa Mayosi said: "Bongani died on the morning of July 27 2018. In the last two years he has battled with depression and on that day took the desperate decision to end his life. We are still struggling to come to terms with this devastating loss."President Cyril Ramaphosa joined the mourning yesterday, saying: "We convey our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and relatives, and the health science fraternity."
Mayosi changed global understanding of heart attacks when he discovered the genetic mutation linked to 60% of cases in young people.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he was devastated by the loss. "He was one of South Africa's most eminent medical scientists. I don't know if we will ever be able to replace a person like him," he said.
Mayosi leaves his wife, dermatologist Nonhlanhla Khumalo, and two daughters.