Artists and politicos we mourned this year

Robbie Malinga
Image: INSTAGRAM

Like every year, the past 12 months have robbed Mzansi of some of its entertainment talent, from actors to musicians, as well as politicians.

In the first month of the year, Mzansi mourned two of its musical talents in jazz legend Thandi Klaasen and gospel singer Lundi Tyamara.

Klaasen died at the age of 86 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was given an official provincial funeral by the Gauteng government.

She was buried at the Thomas Nkobi Memorial Park in Ekurhuleni.

Tyamara succumbed to stomach TB and liver complications and died at the age of 38.

A month later, veteran actor Joe Mafela and struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada also passed away.

Mafela was 75 at the time of his death. He was involved in a car crash on the M1 highway in Joburg.

Tsekeleke / Mdu Ndzingi
Tsekeleke / Mdu Ndzingi

Kathrada, fondly known as Oom Kathy, died at 87.

In May, Mzansi woke up to devastating news that former Generations star Mandla Hlatshwayo had been shot and killed at a pub in Pimville, Soweto. He and his friend were apparently defending two girls who were being robbed at the time.

Actor Christopher "Gunman" Kubheka took his own life the following month at the age of 48.

He left a suicide note at their marital home in Soshanguve, Tshwane, accusing his wife of cheating.

In July, Mzansi mourned the death of veteran musician Ray Phiri and jazz trumpeter Johnny Mekoa.

Phiri died at the age of 70 in Mpumalanga after a battle with cancer.

Mekoa died at the age of 72 at his Crystal Park home, east of Joburg.

A month later, the country was rocked by three deaths - Rhythm City's actor Dumi Masilela, kwaito star Mixon Tholo, aka Tsekeleke, and celebrity stylist Iko Mash.

Masilela, 29, was killed in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, during an attempted hijacking.

Tsekeleke succumbed to diabetes at the age of 48 while Mash lost her battle with cancer at 42.

Veteran musician Ray Phiri died in July./ Thuli Dlamini
Veteran musician Ray Phiri died in July./ Thuli Dlamini

Health spokesman Joe Maila died in October after he allegedly shot himself by accident at a Pretoria rifle range.

He was 48.

The leader of the Nazareth Baptist Church, Inkosi Vela Shembe, died last month after he lost his fight with cancer. He was 55.

SABC radio and TV sports commentator Cebo Manyaapelo also died last month, at the age of 50, after a long illness .

Former Robben Island prisoner and anti-apartheid activist Laloo Chiba died earlier this month at the age of 87.

After being in and out of hospital this year, musician Robbie Malinga died at home on Christmas Day at age 47.

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