SA Jazz Legend Dies At 86

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Taking to Twitter on Sunday morning, Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa confirmed that Jazz legend and Nelson Mandela’s favourite singer Thandi Klaasen has died at the age of 86.

“We are saddened to learn that Jazz Legend Thandi Klaasen has passed on. Our thoughts are with her daughter Lorraine, her loved ones, & fans,” Mthethwa wrote on Twitter.

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Mthethwa wrote a heart-touching tribute to the fallen icon who passed away after losing her battle with cancer.

“uMama Thandi Klaasen will be remembered for her indomitable spirit, who succeeded against all odds and her silky smooth voice which serenaded audiences the world over. How much richer we are having heard her sing.”

“How much she touched our spirits and made us complete beings in a world in which things were falling apart. How her voice endured to sing with us in the age of democracy, during which she was honoured with the order of Ikamanga in Silver in 2006.”

“uMama Thandi Klassen was feisty, street smart, & full of life. She stood the test of time, having had a career which lasted over 5 decades. We’ll remember her song “Sophiatown” where she masterfully & beautifully describes the town where she was brought up.”



Earlier this week, Klaasen’s daughter, Lorraine, revealed on her personal Facebook page that her mother was battling with pancreatic cancer.

In addition, she thanked friends and fans for all the support that she and the family have received during this hard time.

Shortly after the star’s demise, Lorraine took to Facebook to pay tribute to her mom.

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“Today is the day my mom left us she passed away this morning peacefully. Thank you all for your kind words and prayers I use to share this encouraging scripture Revelations 21 verse 2 3 4. In part it says Even Death will be no more. no pain.no suffering it will be things of the past. We will update for funeral arrangement, On behalf of my family, we thank you all,” she wrote.

Watch this space for details about the legend’s funeral arrangement.