Gugu Zulu described as a 'great son'

Zulu's Trek4Mandela expedition members will only find out about his death today.

FILE: Gugu Zulu. Picture: @GuguZulu.

JOHANNESBURG - The uncle of late racing car driver Gugu Zulu has described him as a great son who would make any parent proud.

Zulu died yesterday while trying to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

He and his wife were part of an expedition called Trek4Mandela, an initiative which aims to raise money for charity.

LISTEN: Navigator Carl Peskin: Gugu Zulu was the one all the kids wanted to see

Zulus friends and family woke up to the sad news of his passing yesterday.

His uncle, Tsidiso Motloelwa, says the family didn't see this coming.

He says they are still in shock and deeply saddened, adding that this is a loss for the country.

"He made an immense contribution in transforming the lives of those who are less fortunate, driving them into what you call the non-mainstream sports such as racing, cycling. He's got a lot of children that he was mentoring."

Motloelwa says he hopes that his nephew's legacy and contribution to sport will live on.

Meanwhile, the Nelson Mandela Foundation says members of the Trek4Mandela expedition will only find out today that their teammate passed away, when they descend Mount Kilimanjaro.

Condolences have been pouring in for Zulu who died unexpectedly yesterday morning, but the rest of the climbers will only hear the tragic news today when they descend from Mount Kilamanjaro.

The foundation's Neeran Naidoo says they continued with the summit after Zulu was brought down the mountain by medical doctors.

"They are not aware of the passing of Gugu; the team continued to summit. Our CEO who is on his way to Tanzania and he'll be retuning with the team."

Zulu left the base camp on Sunday night after he experienced difficulty breathing and passed away before he managed to reach a hospital.

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

Click here to view an interactive map on Gugu Zulu's journey at Mount Kilimanjaro.