POLITICAL parties have reacted with shock to the death of Eastern Cape MPL and former Nelson Mandela Bay Metro DA councillor Johan Pine Pienaar.

DA provincial leader Athol Trollip said the party was “deeply shocked at the news of the passing of one of its most senior and prominent public representatives”.

ANC chief whip Humphrey Maxegwana said they received the news “with great sadness”.

“Honourable Pienaar, as an experienced public representative of the people of the Eastern Cape, has served in the institution with a high level of commitment and dignity,” said Maxegwana.

UDM leader in the legislature Max Mhlathi, who served with Pienaar in several portfolio committees, said his party was “shocked to hear the news that such a humble, honourable member of the Bhisho legislature had died”.

Pienaar served the DA in several capacities including being a metro DA councillor before being elected as an MPL. While in Bhisho, he served in several portfolio committees including roads, transport and sports.

“[Pienaar] has performed yeoman service for all the people of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch as a councillor and all the people of the province as an MPL,” said Trollip.

Bhisho MPLs were made aware of Pienaar’s illhealth some time ago, Mhlathi said. “Subsequently he was absent from work for a long time due to cancer, we were made to understand.

“We are really deeply saddened that a fateful illness like cancer did this to such a humble man,” said Mhlathi.

Trollip said Pienaar would be remembered especially for his sterling work in the portfolios he served with passionate energy.

“Pine Pienaar was the personification of selfless service and this was reflected in the many positions of leadership he held in the party, and someone with a unique passion and commitment to growing the DA in all communities in the Eastern Cape,” said Trollip. Maxegwana commended Pienaar for bringing robust debates as he continuously raised issues of service delivery during housesittings “without fear or favour”.

Trollip said the party wishes “to convey our deepest condolences to the Pienaar family and to thank them sincerely for all the sacrifices they made so their son, husband and father could serve the people he loved so much”. —