Brenda died peacefully
May 10, 2004
JOHANNESBURG — Brenda Fassie was sleeping peacefully when she died late on
Sunday afternoon, her record company said.
Photo - AFP
EMI Music lawyers Leslie Sedibe said Brenda Fassie's nephew
Tshepo was with her when she died around 5pm on Sunday.
"Death has this time robbed this country, Africa and the world
of one of the greatest talents to come out of the township of Langa
in Cape Town," Sedibe told a packed press conference at the
"Brenda occupied a special place in the minds and hearts of many
people around the world. Indeed, a hero has fallen," he said.
Sedibe thanked many South Africans, including President Thabo
Mbeki and his predecessor Nelson Mandela, for supporting the Fassie
family over the past two weeks of Fassie's illness.
Funeral arrangements had not yet been made, but would be
announced this week, he said.
Former African National Congress Women's League president Winnie
Madikizela-Mandela was by Sedibe's side.
She refused to comment, except to say "this is an extremely sad
day for all of us."
Fassie's mentor Chicco Twala and former Pan Africanist Congress
member Ngila Muendane were also at the hospital, and Arthur
Mafokate, Metro FM DJ Penny Lebyane, producer Duma Ndlovu and Sony
Music executive Lindelani Mkhize came later.
Mkhize said: "It's a great loss to the music fraternity. Akekho
ofana naye (there is no one like)," he said.
However, he said Fassie died before her actual death due to
irresponsible reporting by the media.
Responding to the news, President Thabo Mbeki said Fassie was
not only important to South Africa, but to the whole of Africa:
"(she made) souls rise in bliss wherever her voice reached".
Various other politicians paid tribute to the spirit and genius
of the South African singer. She was hailed as "wonderfully
talented", a "national treasure," and "a cultural icon, who helped
shape the sound and spirit of her generation."
"Fassie defied her bad past and did something out of it. As a
black woman from a poor background, she did not sit down," the ANC
Youth League said.
Fassie was admitted to the Sunninghill Hospital after an asthma
attack on April 26 which led to cardio-respiratory arrest.
Doctors resuscitated her but she fell into a coma, and on Friday
her family was told there was nothing more to be done to reverse
A call line had been set up for Fassie's fans and supporters,
her manager said.
Callers would be able to send and listen to messages of
condolence, and hear some of her previously unreleased work.
The number is 082 234 2004. Normal cell phone rates apply. – Sapa
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