Gugu Zulu’s family ‘devastated’ by his sudden death

Gugu Zulu died this morning after attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, with his wife, for Mandela Day.

South African racing car driver Gugu Zulu with his wife. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The family of racing car driver Gugu Zulu says they are beyond saddened and didn't expect his sudden death.

Zulu died this morning after attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, with his wife, for Mandela Day.

The climbers where due to summit Kilimanjaro today, as this year's 'Trek4Mandela' expedition, aimed to raise enough funds to ensure that 350,000 children will not miss a day of school due to menstrual challenges.

His adventure, however, came to an end after he experienced breathing problems.

Zulu's uncle, Tsidiso Motloelwa, says it was around 5am this morning when he received a call from the race car driver's mother, informing him of his death.

"We are all devastated. We did not expect it to happen so quickly especially when talking about such a young life that was at its prime."

He says the exact cause of death is still unclear.

"His sister is now en route to Tanzania, together with a representative from the Mandela Foundation, who are going there to get the finer details."

Motloelwa says the family would like to thank the public for the messages of condolence, which he says have been comforting.

LISTEN: Adventurers with Sam Cowen: Gugu Zulu's last interview due to be published later this year

Meanwhile, the Presidency has also sent its condolences to the family of the late Zulu.

It's spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga says, "President Zuma has extended his deep condolences to the Zulu family, for the sudden passing of Mr Gugu Zulu. The president is deeply saddened by this event."

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The Nelson Mandela Foundation has also confirmed that the rest of the Trek4Mandela team climbing Mount Kilimanjaro are not yet aware of Zulu's death.

Thirty-eight-year-old Zulu left the rest of the team last night when doctors realised his condition was not improving.

The foundation's Neeran Naidoo says they continued climbing this morning.

"The rest of the team continued to summit this morning, so they are not aware of the passing of Gugu. They are only due to come down the mountain tomorrow, where they will hear of the news."

Zulu's wife, Letshego, was with him during his last moments.

The two were often referred to as the "adventure couple".

They have a one-year-old daughter together.

The sports ministry, motorsport enthusiasts and other South Africans have come forward to pay tribute to Zulu, whose been described as a loving, dynamic and unselfish individual.

LISTEN: Gugu Zulu passes away