The Nelson Mandela Foundation has confirmed that race car driver Gugu Zulu has passed away while attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Zulu was part of a group of people‚ including his wife Letshego Zulu who were part of the Trek4Mandela expedition.
In a statement released on Monday‚ the Nelson Mandela Foundation announced that Zulu lost his life early this morning while summiting the mountain. “Details are sketchy. What we do know is that Gugu experienced problems breathing. The medical team supporting the trek put him on a drip and they descended the mountain with him. We are informed that the medical teams tried everything possible to save his life‚” the foundation said.
Zulu and his wife apparently both descended the mountain together with Richard Mabaso‚ the project leader and the medical teams. The team was led by experienced mountaineer‚ Sibusiso Vilane.
Sello Hatang‚ CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation said‚ “I am devastated. I knew him well. I recruited him to climb Kilimanjaro. The last thing he said to me at the airport before he left last week was that he wanted to speak about doing other Mandela Day projects. I feel a huge sense of loss.” Zulu is a celebrated and well-established racing driver for Volkswagen. He leaves behind his wife and baby girl who turned one in June.
The climbers were due to summit Kilimanjaro today‚ for Mandela Day. This year’s Trek4Mandela expedition aimed to raise enough funds to ensure that 350 000 girl children will not miss a day of school due to menstrual challenges.