President Cyril Ramaphosa has conveyed his condolences to the family of one of the greatest guitarists to come out of South Africa, Phillip Tabane of the Malombo fame.
Dr Malombo – as Tabane was affectionately called – was also the leader of his band – Malombo. He died Friday after a long illness.
Ramaphosa conferred an honorary PhD in Music and Cultural Anthropology on Tabane in 1998 in his capacity when he was chancellor of the University of Venda.
Ramaphosa says Tabane’s physical silence leaves a great void but his sounds will live on in the hearts of South Africans.
Tabane family spokesperson Dr Sello Galane says the 84-year-old legendary guitarist passed away Friday morning at the Mamelodi hospital, east of Pretoria.
Galane says Dr Tabane, as he was affectionately called, hasn’t been well for some time and was admitted to hospital on Tuesday.
Galane says the family appreciates the prayers and support from the general public, but they request privacy to deal with their grief.
“Well I can confirm that Doctor Philip Tabane has sadly departed. And the family is really in pain and we would like at the moment to just give the family just a bit of space to have conversation about this so that we can then release an official statement later this afternoon. But it is indeed true that Dr. Philip Tabane has passed on.”