Cape Town - South African president Jacob Zuma has released a statement following the death of local musician Hugh Masekela.
Masekela's death was announced on Tuesday following a battle with cancer. In the statement the leader remembered the music icon's contribution to the struggle for liberation during apartheid and sent his condolences to the family.
President Zuma bestowed the National Order of Ikhamanga in Gold in 2010 to Masekela for his exceptional contribution to music and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
"The nation mourns one its most recognizable signature talent in the person of Bra Hugh Masekela. It is an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large.
"His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten. We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to his family and peers in the arts and culture fraternity at large. May his soul rest in peace," said Zuma.