JOHANNESBURG – As tributes continue to pour in for late South African entertainment legend Joe Mafela, actress Lilian Dube has described Mafela as a free spirit who always gave of himself.
Mafela was killed in a car accident on the M1 last night.
The 75-year-old began his professional career in theatre in 1964.
Speaking to 702’s Aubrey Masango, Dube says while Mafela was under appreciated as an artist, he was the happiest throughout his life.
“He was happy, very happy. I’ve never known a nicer person than Bra Joe. He was very generous and very humble. A talented man, who never took himself seriously, who just gave and gave.”
At the same time, the Arts and Culture Department has also offered its condolences to Mafela’s family and friends.
The department’s Lisa Combrink says, “He as much loved, he was much revered. He had a particular touch and therefore, we salute his lifetime contribution to South African arts and culture.”
To the family of Ntate Mafela, to his friends and the entire Arts fraternity - Thankyou for him and accept our condolences. May he RIP.— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) March 19, 2017
The family of Joe Mafela has confirmed to Eyewitness News that he died in a car accident.
Mafela’s niece, Millicent Mulelu said the family is still trying to gather information on the circumstances surrounding the cause of the accident.
“We don’t have the full details of the accident itself but we were informed by the police who came home to tell us the news that they found him at the accident scene and he has lost his life.”
Mafela has been in South African entertainment for over 50 years and was popularly known for his acting and comedy.
The 75-year-old starred as Sdumo on Sgudi ‘Snaysi and Jabulani Cebekhulu on Going Up, both sitcoms on SABC One.
Mafela was also known for his career in music with songs such as Shebeleza.
South Africans have sent their condolences to his loved ones on social media.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)