Racing car driver Gugu Zulu dies while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Zulu was part of an initiative that saw South Africans try summit the mountain for Mandela Day.

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

JOHANNESBURG - South African racing car driver Gugu Zulu has died today while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The 38-year-old was part of the Trek4Mandela initiative that saw prominent South Africans try to summit the mountain for Mandela Day.

He was on the mountain with his wife, Letshego Zulu, and other well-known South Africans and he experienced problems breathing last night.

@adventurecoupleza is ready to own Kilimanjaro!! #AdventureCouple #AdventureLiving #Trek4Mandela #Caring4Girls #Thule #Fitbit

A photo posted by Gugu Zulu (@guguzulu) on

The Nelson Mandela Foundation's Neeran Naidoo said, "We spoke to two members this morning and we understand he had problems breathing last night. The medical team on site put him onto a drip and brought him down from the mountain. They tried everything possible to save his life but unfortunately we lost Gugu this morning."

Zulu was a celebrated and well-established racing driver for Volkswagen.

Bring on @gtcafrica - #TheRightStuff #GTCLaunch #DasAuto #Jetta @VolkswagenSA 📸: Dave Ledbitter

A photo posted by Gugu Zulu (@guguzulu) on

About yesterday!!! She did not even flinch!! The force is strong with this one!! #Birthday #AdventureBabyZA #AdventureCouple #LelethuNalediZulu #LelethusBirthday #1yrCelebrations #Wohza #Blessed

A photo posted by Gugu Zulu (@guguzulu) on

The foundation has also extended its sincere condolences to the Zulu family.

In a statement by the foundation a short while ago, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Sello Hatang 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."

Such tragic news about Gugu Zulu... Unbelievable! His wife was speaking about this hike very excited about it. R.I.P

Guys I literally just watched Gugu Zulu and his wife on Top Billing with their kid a few weeks ago. This is so sad.

With a broken heart I would like to say RIP my son Gugu Zulu u died doing good #MandelaDay #NMFC 💔

Gugu Zulu 😢💔

A really sad way to begin the week. RIP Gugu Zulu.

In an Instagram post two days ago, Zulu described how he was struggling with the mountain, saying he had flu-like symptoms and was taking it step by step.

Made it though day2. My wife is doing fabulous, she has even learnt the local language. Am having flu like symptoms and struggling with the mountain but taking it step by step!! Today we managed to see our destination and our camp is literary above the clouds!! Bring day 3!! #AdventureCouple #AdventureLiving #Trek4Mandela #Caring4Girls #Thule #Fitbit

A photo posted by Gugu Zulu (@guguzulu) on

He also posted that his wife was doing very well.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula tweeted his condolences after hearing the news.

Motorsport enthusiast and pundit Sasha Martinengo says he is distraught after hearing of the passing of Zulu.

"He was so down to earth and a good gentleman. He gave his best to everything, he's an accomplished team driver and he won so many titles. I am absolutely devastated."

Listen Gugu Zulu's last interview with Radio 702's Sam Cowen