Prof Michael Plit, a specialist pulmonologist who treated former president Nelson Mandela, has died.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the physician was also Madiba's friend.
“We have been saddened to hear of the loss of yet another person who played an important role in Nelson Mandela’s life, Dr Michael Plit, who was Madiba’s personal physician for well over two decades.
“Madiba was treated by many medical practitioners during his life, especially in those last 10 years, but it was Dr Plit who Madiba called on most.”
The foundation quoted Mandela's former personal assistant, Zelda la Grange: “Madiba literally trusted Dr Plit with his life.”
The foundation statement said: “Dr Plit became more of a friend than a hired professional, more of a trusted counsellor than a physician. He was always there for Madiba, through thick and thin. We honour Dr Plit and will not forget him.”