SA lost a 'national treasure'
10/05/2004 08:16 - (SA)
South Africa's golden girl. (City Press)
Johannesburg - Tributes have poured in after the death of South Africa's pop diva Brenda Fassie, who died on Sunday in Johannesburg's Sunninghill hospital.
The country has lost a cultural icon, who helped shape the sound and spirit of her generation, the ANC said on Sunday.
Fassie was one of South Africa's most talented singers and performers, said spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama, "her charisma and energy earned her a place in the hearts of many".
He said the ANC joined all South Africans in mourning her death.
Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said Fassie did not just push the corners of the envelope, she chose never to get into it in the first place.
"It is like losing a national treasure," she said in response to the news of the celebrity's death.
"Artists all over the country will mourn this woman who never deigned to allow the staid mores of life to block her way... she added an enormous amount of colour to this rainbow nation."
The Democratic Alliance offered sincere condolences to her family, loved ones and fans, said Kohler-Barnard.
"She will be deeply missed."
Arts and Culture minister Pallo Jordan said Fassie's death leaves a big void in the South African music scene.
"The people of South Africa have lost a wonderfully talented daughter and artist. But she will live on in all our hearts through her music," he said in a statement.
He sent his deepest condolences to Fassie's family, and said they should "draw comfort from the love and support of the millions of South Africans to whom her music brought so much joy".
The African National Congress Youth League said Brenda Fassie should be remembered for her struggle for the liberation of black South Africans.
"She never asked for money, but she always wanted to help poor people in South Africa," ANCYL spokesperson Khulekani Ntshangase said, adding: "We mourn with the nation."
Fassie was an icon, he said. She defied her "bad past and did something out of it".
"As a black woman from a poor background, she did not sit down," Ntshangase said.
Fassie was sleeping peacefully when she died late on Sunday afternoon, her record company said.