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By Nobahle Setlogelo

As we go into the new year, let us also salute those who will not make it to the new year.

South African Persons of Influence who passed away in the year 2017.

Dumi Masilela

29 year old Rhythm City actor, Dumi Masilela, who played the role of Sifiso Ngema on the popular soapie passed away in August this year. Masilela and a friend, were fatally shot in a hijacking on the 2nd of August.

Joe Mafela

Legendary Sgudi'snaysi actor Joe Mafela died in a car accident on the M1 highway in Johannesburg, earlier this year, on March 18th.

Mary Makgatho

Veteran actress Mary Makgatho died in the early hours of Monday the 7th of August, after being admitted to hospital a few weeks prior. Makgatho was a seasoned actress whose acting credits include Rhythm City, Generations, Yizo Yizo and numerous tv adverts and voice overs spanning over more than three decades.

Jabu Christopher Khubeka

48 year old actor, Jabu Christopher Khubeka who played the role of ghunman in SABC drama Yizo Yizo, was found dead after an alleged suicide at his Soshanguve house on Monday 12th of June.

Lundi Tyamara

South African multi-award winning gospel artist Lundi Tyamara died on the 27th of January 2017 after a long struggle with stomach TB and liver complications.

Mandla Hlatshwayo

Former Generations actor and Jozi FM presenter Mandla Hlatshwayo was hailed as a hero who sacrificed his life to save women. The actor and his friend Oupa Duma were gunned down on Sunday 14 May 2017, while attempting to rescue two women that were being mugged in Pimville.

Nixon "Tsekeleke" Tholo

Kwaito star Mixon Tholo, popularly known as Tsekeleke passed away in a Vosloorus hospital on 1st of August 2017. Tsekeleke was diagnosed with diabetes and had been in and out of hospital since last year. He was rushed to hospital on Monday after undergoing a procedure on his leg. Tsekeleke is known for his hit single "Fatty Boom Boom".

Iko Mash

Actor and celebrity stylist Iko Mash died after a battle with cancer on

the21st ofJuly this year. Mash was well-known in celebrity circles for being a stylist and make-up artist and in 2015 joined the cast of Rhythm City as Zahr, a transgender woman.

Joost Van Der Westhuizen

On 4 February 2017 former rugby player was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the Fourways Life Hospital in Johannesburg where he was placed on a ventilator. He died at his home in Johannesburg surrounded by his family on Monday, 6 February 2017, at the age of 45 after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2010.

Raymond Chikapa Enock Phiri

Born 23 March 1947, was a South African jazz, fusion and mbaqanga musician born in Mpumalanga to Thabethe Phiri, a Malawian immigrant worker, and South African guitarist nicknamed "Just Now" Phiri. Phiri was diagnosed with lung cancer and died at the age of 70 on 12 July 2017 at a Nelspruit hospital.

Washington Sixolo

Veteran actor Washington Sixolo, popularly known for his role as Jwara in Emzini Wezinsizwa, died on the 4th of June after a long battle with multiple illnesses. The 83-year-old started acting in the late 1970s, and won a Tonight Acting Award in 1983. He also acted in TV series Shaka Zulu as Bhebhe and Jackie Chan's Who Am I? as a Zulu king.


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