Mario Ambrosini dies

Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Ambrosini has passed away at the age of 53.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Member of Parliament (MP) Mario Oriani-Ambrosini. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Member of Parliament (MP) Mario Ambrosini has passed away at the age of 53.

Ambrosini - who was open about his battle with cancer - died this morning.

He had campaigned to the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use.

The IFP MP was born in Rome Italy on 26 of October 1960.

His political career started in the late 1970's in Italy.

In 1991, he struck what would become a lifelong relationship with IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

He has been a staunch member of the party since.

Ambrosini announced last year that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

The IFP is expected to release a comprehensive statement soon on his passing.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has conveyed it's condolences to the family and friends of Ambrosini.

The DA's Wilmot James says, "We are bereft after the death of Mario Ambrosini. Mario was a great fighter for democracy."