Mandela Foundation helping Zulu family in Tanzania

2016-07-19 13:40
Rally champion Gugu Zulu with his wife Letshego. (Facebook)

Rally champion Gugu Zulu with his wife Letshego. (Facebook)

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Johannesburg - Arrangements are being made to bring Gugu Zulu’s body back to South Africa after the racing driver died on Mount Kilimanjaro, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said on Tuesday.

The other members of the climbing team were due to return to SA on Wednesday, foundation spokesperson Neeran Naidoo said in a statement.

It was not clear if Zulu’s wife Letshego, who was part of the team, would be on the same flight.

READ: SA rally champion Gugu Zulu dies on Kilimanjaro in Mandela tribute climb

The foundation’s chief executive officer Sello Hatang was with Letshego Zulu in Tanzania. He said he was devastated.

"I knew him well. I recruited him to climb Kilimanjaro. The last thing he said to me at the airport before he left last week was that he wanted to speak about doing other Mandela Day projects. I feel a huge sense of loss."

Breathing problems

Hatang was working with Tanzanian authorities, the South African High Commissioner in Tanzania, Thami Mseleku; home affairs in SA; and the Tanzanian Ambassador to SA, Radhia Msuya, to help repatriate Gugu’s body.

They were waiting for documentation from the Tanzanian authorities and South African home affairs before travel arrangements could be made.

“We are hoping to resolve these issues today before flight details can be confirmed,” Naidoo said.

Zulu died on Monday, while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with Letshego and project leader Richard Mabaso. Experienced mountaineer, Sibusiso Vilane, was leading the team. They had intended reaching the summit on Monday, for Mandela Day.

The foundation said they did not know the cause of Zulu’s death, only that he had suffered breathing problems.

"The medical team supporting the trek put him on a drip and they descended the mountain with him. We are informed that the medical teams tried everything possible to save his life."

Zulu’s last post on his Facebook page was on Saturday, saying: "Made it though (stet) day2.

“My wife is doing fabulous, she has even learnt the local language. Am having flu like symptoms and struggling with the mountain but taking it step by step!!

“Today we managed to see our destination and our camp is literary above the clouds!!”

Zulu was an established and celebrated driver for Volkswagen, and won the SA National Rally Class Championships in 2007, 2009, and 2010.

He won the Wesbank Award and Goodyear Star of Tomorrow Award.

Read more on:    gugu zulu

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