He described him as an extraordinary journalist and a proud South African who loved his country.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Grace House Family Church in Randburg to remember Gwala.
The mood may have been sombre but it was also a celebratory one, with dignitaries such as Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni and Lesufi to the 702 listeners who came out to honour the veteran journalist.
Lesufi described Gwala as irreplaceable, not only in his profession but as a South African.
“The voice that educated and informed us… will be missed.”
Members of decorated group Joyous Celebration also paid tribute to him.
Mphephethwa will be laid to rest in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
WATCH: Xolani Gwala memorial service
This article first appeared on EWN : Lesufi: Xolani Gwala irreplaceable as journo & a South African