‘We hope you are at peace now' - SA mourns death of veteran actor Patrick Shai

The family of the veteran actor confirmed the news of his passing in a short statement on Saturday.

Picture: Patrick Shai/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africans are mourning the death of legendary actor Patrick Shai who reportedly took his own life.

The family of the veteran actor confirmed the news of his passing in a short statement on Saturday.

Meanwhile, fans, politicians and South Africa's entertainment fraternity have been paying tribute on social media.

Shai had a career that spanned decades and became a household name after appearing on numerous television and theatre productions including Generations, Soul City, Yizo Yizo, and most recently The River.

Shai also had an extensive feature film resumé which included _Cry, The Beloved Country _and Critical Assignment.

While his contribution to the South African arts and entertainment industry leaves an indelible mark, he also recently used his profile to promote his activism.

Shai started a non-government organisation to help abusive men called Khuluma Ndoda after he admitted to physically and emotionally abusing his wife.

In 2019, the actor was caught in the crossfire between police and residents in Dobsonville.

Shai was shot 11 times with rubber bullets while attempting to intervene during a stand-off between residents and the police.

But Shai came under fire recently for using inappropriate language in a video posted on social media, when he challenged rapper Cassper Nyovest to a boxing match.

On Tuesday, he released a public apology to the rapper, and everyone affected by his remarks.

However, many criticised him for the bizarre statement which appeared unprovoked and questioned his advocacy against gender-based violence.

Cope’s Dennis Bloem said he will be missed by his community: “This is a huge loss to the fight against gender-based violence. The country has lost an international actor. We will always remember his contribution.”

Meanwhile, the SABC said South Africa has lost yet another pioneer of the arts.”