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WATCH LIVE | Veteran actor Patrick Shai's funeral service

Family and friends of late veteran actor Patrick Shai gathered at the Soweto Theatre to bid him farewell.

Shai took his own life last Saturday, aged 66. 

Police confirmed to TshisaLIVE and said the late actor  took his own life and his body was discovered by his wife in the garage of his Dobsonville home.

The veteran actor's career spanned over decades and he was part of many productions on South African's television. Shai featured in shows such as Generations, 7deLaan, Skeem Saam, Uzalo and The RiverHe also had an extensive feature film resumé which included Cry, the Beloved Country and Critical Assignment. 

The actor has been praised by fellow colleagues as man who was very passionate about his craft. Fellow colleague Nambitha Mpumlwana spoke fondly of the late veteran at his memorial held on Thursday at The Market Theatre. 

She said Patrick became her hero and her brother.

“I played Patrick's wife quite a few times and I played his friend in real life, he played my hero. He held up my pedestal, he allowed me to stand behind him when we had tough negations in productions. He was not afraid to be the target so that we can rise. He allowed us to stand tall on his shoulders... he was my brother.”

Shai was also an activist against gender based violence.