South African rally driver Gugu Zulu dies on Kilimanjaro.

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South African rally driver Gugu Zulu dies on Kilimanjaro.

July 18th, 2016|News Bulletins|

We’ve just had reports that South African rally driver and television presenter, Gugu Zulu, has died while attempting to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Mr Zulu, was aged just 38, and was on a charity climb, Trek4Mandela, in order to highlight the problem of 350 000 girls who miss school due to their menstrual cycle and to raise funds to buy sanitary towels for them.

His last post on facebook was as follows: “Made it though (stet) 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!!” he said in his last post 16 July.”

The following statement has been released: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce that one of the climbers on the Trek4Mandela, Gugu Zulu lost his life while summiting Kilimanjaro early this morning before summiting

On behalf of the Board and staff of the Nelson Mandela Foundation we extend our sincere condolences to his wife Letshego Zulu, their daughter Lelethu and the Zulu family on this tragic loss.

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.

Gugu was climbing Kilimanjaro with his wife Letshego and we understand that they 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.”

The climbers were due to summit Kilimanjaro today, for Mandela Day.

About the Author:

I am a little obsessed with Mount Kilimanjaro. Since writing the first edition of the Kilimanjaro guide in 2001 I have climbed the mountain more than 30 times and occasionally leads treks up the mountain myself. And when I'm not in Tanzania researaching for the next edition of the guide (the fifth edition was published in 2018), I can be found living near Hastings, England, updating this website (which was first published in 2006), writing about the national trails of England, answering Kili-related emails and putting on weight.Friends describe me as living proof that virtually anybody can climb Kilimanjaro.