Presidency, political parties mourn Gugu Zulu

2016-07-18 14:49
Rally champion Gugu Zulu with his wife Letshego. (Facebook)

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

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Johannesburg - The sudden death of South African rally champion, Gugu Zulu was a great loss for the country, the DA, ANC and President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

The Democratic Alliance said Zulu exemplified an unwavering commitment and contribution to excellence in sports, and to upholding the legacy of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

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

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

The African National Congress said Zulu was an accomplished and celebrated racing driver who had won many racing titles.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic and painful incident which has taken place on a day on which we should be rejoicing and celebrating Madiba’s legacy," the Presidency said. 

The Presidency said South Africa had lost an inspirational young man who was also passionate about community initiatives aimed at improving the lives of others.

Zulu died while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, with his wife Letshego and project leader Richard Mabaso. The team was led by experienced mountaineer, Sibusiso Vilane.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation confirmed that Gugu Zulu had died while attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The foundation said that details around Zulu’s death were sketchy, but that they did know 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."

"I am devastated," Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said.

"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."

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!!"

The climbers were due to summit Kilimanjaro on Monday for Mandela Day.

"In Zulu, we have lost a man of sporting excellence who lived his life to inspire and motivate others by always breaking new boundaries and always giving his best performance," ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.


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