President Jacob Zuma has expressed his heartfelt condolences following the passing of internationally acclaimed jazz artist, legendary trumpeter, cultural activist and liberation struggle veteran Hugh Masekela.
The President described the passing of Masekela as sad.
Masekela passed away at the age of 78 following a battle with prostate cancer. The Masekela family, in a statement confirming the news to the media on Tuesday, said: “After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa surrounded by his family”.
“The nation mourns one its most recognisable signature talent in the person of Bra Hugh Masekela. It is an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large,” said President Zuma in a statement on Tuesday.
“His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten. We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to his family and peers in the arts and culture fraternity at large. May his soul rest in peace.”
Masekela was one of the pioneers of jazz music in South Africa whose talent was recognised and honoured internationally over many years.
President Zuma said he kept the torch of freedom alive globally fighting apartheid through his music and mobilising international support for the struggle for liberation and raising awareness of the evils of apartheid.
In 2010, President Zuma bestowed the National Order of Ikhamanga in Gold to Masekela for his exceptional contribution to music and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.