It is with great sadness that the African National Congress has learnt of the passing of popular South African jazz legend, Mama Thandi Klaasen.
She died in the early hours of Sunday morning, 15th January 2017, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 86 years old.
Ms Thandi Klaasen was a world renowned jazz musician hailing from Sophiatown, famous for her role in the internationally acclaimed musical “King Kong”

A perfect mix of strength, humilty and grace, she taught us that through it is through courage and determination that we could overcome the greatest challenges and triumph over adversities.

Her kindness and compassion was demonstrated through her social and political activism. She was one of the symbols of political resistance during the struggle for liberation and the ANC will forever treasure her contribution during those difficult times.
She was honoured with the order of Ikamanga in Silver in 2006 for her song Sophiatown. Her other accolades include the Woman of Distinction Award received in Canada in 1999, and the Lifetime Achievment Award received at the 12th MTN South African Music Awards.

Her great legacy will live on through her music. May we continue to draw inspiration from her tenacity, resilience and fighting spirit.
The African National Congress sends our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends, and we mourn together with her fans and the music industry at large.
May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Issued by the African National Congress
Zizi Kodwa 0823304910
National Spokesperson
Khusela Sangoni 0728545707
National Communications Manager