Cape Town – As news broke of South African music icon Johnny Clegg’s death, tributes poured in from political parties celebrating the singer’s life.
“The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply saddened by the passing of Johnny Clegg. South Africa and the world mourn a cultural icon whose influence spans decades,” DA National Spokesperson, Solly Malatsi said in a statement to Channel24.
Solly added: “Indeed a giant has fallen – Johny Clegg was one of the few South African musicians whose music was able to unite people across cultural and racial backgrounds, as well as tie different generations together. His contribution to the the Struggle for a Democratic South Africa through song will always ring dearly in our hearts.
“We wish his family, friends and fans our deepest and heartfelt condolences during this time. Johnny Clegg may have played his last note, but his music will live forever.”
COPE spokesperson, Dennis Bloem said in a statement to the media: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of our legendary musician, Johnny Clegg, this evening. Congress of the People (COPE) joins fellow South Africans and fans of the late Clegg in extending condolences and celebrating the life of the legend whose music has cut across many generations and educated our communities through his touching and struggle songs.
“The Congress of the People send their deepest condolences to his family, friends, music fraternity, and his fans at large in this time of bereavement.”
The EFF tweeted: “The EFF sends its heartfelt condolences on the passing of award-winning legendary musician Johnny Clegg. May his family be comforted and his soul rest in perfect peace.”
The Nelson Mandela Foundation tweeted: “The Nelson Mandela Foundation mourns the passing of a musical icon and a freedom fighter Johnny Clegg. We are blessed to have seen him. We will keep singing Asimbonanga. We will keep working for the country of his dreams. Hamba kahle qhawe lamaqhawe.”
ANC spokesperson, Pule Mabe said in a statement: “The African National Congress (ANC) is saddened by the untimely passing of one of South Africa’s music legend Mr. Johnny Clegg. Mr. Clegg had paired Zulu rhythms and vocals with succinct pop melodies of social consciousness that echoed American and British folk music.
“He suffered harassment and arrest by the apartheid regime for his action and working with with Africans in his band Juluka and later Savuka. He was among the most loved musician in the country as he defied apartheid regime.
“Mr. Clegg used his music to unify people of different races. He released 13 albums in his 40 years of music and dance. The ANC join many South Africans in paying tribute to this music icon who became a beacon of hope and inspired many artists and individuals in our country and abroad.
“He left an indelible mark in the country and his inspirational music will continue to reverberate in our ears for many years to come. He used his talent to inspire social, economic, cultural and political change in the country. At this hour of great loss, our thoughts are with his family, friends and fellow musicians. May his soul rest in peace.”