Well-known businessman Peter Matlare, the deputy chief executive officer of Absa, has died from Covid-19 complications.
Matlare had a storied business career, serving as the CEO of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the chief strategy and business development officer of Vodacom and later as the head of Tiger Brands, where he oversaw the expansion of the company into Nigeria and Kenya.
"Peter was a consummate professional, who made an immense contribution to business in South Africa and across the African continent. He was passionate about transforming businesses, and believed deeply in the potential of Africa," his family said in a statement. "He also created opportunities for dozens of young managers and professionals to expand their horizons in the businesses he led."
"Family was a cornerstone of Peter's life. He was a pillar of strength around whom the family coalesced. He used his talent and passion for cooking to regularly gather the family for Sunday lunches, and maintain deep connections in the family. His support for family, friends and colleagues has left a lasting legacy."
Matlare was named as an independent non-executive director of Absa 2011, and was appointed the banking group's deputy chief executive officer with responsibility for banking operations in the rest of Africa in August 2016.
As the head of Absa's regional operations, he played a key role in the bank's separation from its former parent company Barclays, which included the rebranding of Barclays-branded subsidiaries as "Absa" in a number of African countries.
"By adopting the Absa name, we are leveraging our rich African heritage in order to drive relevant initiatives that will further unlock our continent's potential, deepen regional integration and support accelerated growth," he said in February of 2020, after banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania, among others, were rebranded.
Matlare also attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on a number of occasions as part of Absa's delegation. In 2019, he wrote about his excitement for the continent's future. "Africa brims with potential with a young population and decades of productive life ahead of it. The continent has an abundance of natural resources and wealth," he said.
Former public Protector Thuli Madonsela was among those to pay tribute to Matlare on Sunday.
Michael Markovitz, who sits on the SABC board, said Matlare was a "consummate professional".
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa also expressed his condolences.