The brother of University of Fort Hare vice-chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu and his wife Nobantu Ethelina Buhlungu have died of Covid-19 - just four days apart of each other.
Temba Tennyson Buhlungu and his wife Nobantu Ethelina Buhlungu died in hospital in Tsolo, their son Siyabonga Buhlungu said on Monday.
He said his mother succumbed to the virus first on 20 June and his father died on 24 June.
Temba, 68, used to work for the Department of Public Works as an artisan, while his wife, aged 64, was a stay-at-home mom.
The couple was buried in Tyeni in Tsolo on Saturday.
"We are shattered by the passing of our brother and sister-in-law within days of each other due to Covid-19. But we derive strength from the thousands of messages of consolation, support and solidarity from friends, colleagues, community leaders and comrades across the world. Coronavirus is a ruthless killer. Let us continue to share information and lessons," said Professor Buhlungu.
Siyabonga added that the couple's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would remember them for the love and guidance they gave. He described being raised by his parents as a blessing, having learnt discipline, respect and independence from them.
"Losing them due to Covid-19 is the hardest negative event in our lives but we have accepted and thank them for preparing us for this event. May their beautiful souls rest in peace," said the younger Buhlungu.
There are 26 195 confirmed cases, 397 deaths and 12 824 recoveries in the Eastern Cape.
Nationally, there are 144 264 confirmed cases, 2 529 deaths and 70 614 recoveries.