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Legendary SA actress Mary Twala dies at 80

Details surrounding Twala’s death are still unclear, but news of her passing was revealed by her son, Somizi Mhlongo, on Saturday.

Mary Twala receives the Order of Ikhamanga from President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Presidency.

JOHANNESBURG - Legendary South African actress Mary Twala has passed away at the age of 80.

Details surrounding Twala’s death are still unclear, but news of her passing was revealed by her son, Somizi Mhlongo, through a post on Twitter on Saturday.

The icon has featured in several local productions, including the very first season of Generations.

In 2007, she starred in the drama Ubizo: The Calling, which explored issues on the tradition of Ubungoma in South Africa.

In a separate post on Instagram, Somizi shared that his mother's death coincides with his late father's birthday.

He said: "Today's my late father's birthday and my mom decided to respond to his call to join him in heaven. The tree has fallen. I am shattered to the core, but I'd be very selfish if I don't release her."

Last year, the veteran actress received the the Order of Ikhamanga for her contribution to the performing arts.

She had an extensive career as an actress, performing in roles in film and theatre. Her career includes international films such as Mapantsula and Sarafina!, among others.

With a career spanning over six decades, Mam Mary, as she was affectionately known, has left an indelible mark on South Africa's film and television industry.

The icon's grandson Wolly Twala said: “We knew it was coming. She paved the way and we appreciate what she’s done for the industry. We celebrate her name.”

Somizi added the veteran actress lived her life to the fullest. He's thanked South Africans for loving his mother, who he described as a phenomenal superstar.

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