Hamba kahle Johnny Clegg
18 July 2019
President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his heartfelt sadness at the passing of anti-apartheid cultural activist, performer and National Order of Ikhamanga recipient Jonathan “Johnny” Clegg.
Clegg passed away on 16 July in the presence of his family following an extended illness.
The award-winning singer, songwriter, anthropologist and academic was 66-years-old.
“A beloved, inspirational and heroic voice has fallen silent and leaves all of us bereft of an exceptional compatriot and icon of social cohesion and non-racialism,” said President Ramaphosa.
The President offered his condolences to Clegg’s family, friends and followers and the broad range of artists and organisations with whom he collaborated in South Africa and internationally.
During his performance career of four decades, Clegg sold more than five million albums.
“Johnny Clegg’s special relationship with Sipho Mchunu in Juluka, as well as with Dudu Zulu in Savuka, gave apartheid-era South Africa a window on the non-racial South Africa we were determined to achieve,” said the President.
“Johnny Clegg will always live on in our hearts and in our homes as we replay his stirring blend of cultural celebration and political resistance. We have lost a special patriot.”
In 2012, Clegg became an esteemed member of the National Order of Ikhamanga – awarded in silver – for his excellent contribution to and achievement in the field of bridging African traditional music with other music forms, promoting racial understanding among racially divided groups in South Africa under difficult apartheid conditions, working for a non-racial society and being an outstanding spokesperson for the release of political prisoners.