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16 Sep 2004 18:22
Jazz legend Dolly Rathebe (74) died at the Ga-Rankuwa hospital outside Pretoria on Thursday.
Rathebe was admitted to hospital on Sunday after suffering a mild stroke and is survived by two daughters and a son.
Rathebe’s daughter Zola said she was not expecting such pain.
“The family is saddened and has lost a lot. We have not decided when mum will be buried,” her daughter said.
Former president Nelson Mandela paid tribute to Rathebe.
Mandela said he was sorry he could not visit the star before she died.
“I hope South Africans will continue where Dolly left off,” Mandela said.
Rathebe rose to stardom through a role in a film called Jim Comes to Jo’burg in the late 1940s.
Khubeka also featured in Hijack, a film broadcast last year, and in an international film called The Line.
Abigail Khubeka, a prominent jazz singer, said she spoke to Rathebe on Saturday when they were supposed to hand over awards at Leeuwkop Prison.
“I waited at the prison.
“Her words did not make any sense when I spoke to her,” Khubeka said.
She said the international and local music market has lost “one of Africa’s first beauty queens”.
Performing in the same genre of music, Thandi Klaasen said when she visited Rathebe in hospital she warned her “not to leave”.
“I told her she must never go. But she did and I will never believe it was her time because she had so much to live for.”
Internationally acclaimed artist Sibongile Khumalo said she remembered Rathebe as a woman full of life.
“She was larger than life.”—Sapa
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