President Cyril Ramaphosa is deeply saddened by the passing of multi-genre performer and music educator Dr Sibongile Khumalo.
Dr Khumalo, an Esteemed Member of the Order of Ikhamanga, passed away earlier today, Thursday, 28 January 2021, at the age of 63.
The President extends his deep condolences to the family, friends and associates of Dr Khumalo in South Africa and internationally.
Sibongile Khumalo was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2008 for her excellent contribution to the development of South African art and culture in the musical fields of jazz and opera.
The National Order crowned the many accolades she had earned throughout her career, and acknowledged her landmark national performances, such as those at Founding President Nelson Mandela's 75th birthday and 1994 inauguration, and her rendering of the South African and New Zealand national anthems at the Rugby World Cup final in 1995.
President Ramaphosa said: "This is a moment of great sadness for all of us who were mesmerised and moved by the power, sensuality and improvisation of Sibongile Khumalo's unique voice.
"Not only was she an unmistakable voice on concert stages around our country and the world, but she was a voice of advocacy for the performing arts, for the rights and place of women in our society, and for human rights at large.
"As a music academic, she was also a voice of instruction and inspiration to new generations of artists who had the privilege of learning from a performer who was at the pinnacle of her career.
"We will miss her greatly."