Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has hinted that government will be involved in the funeral of jazz icon Hugh Masekela.

Mthethwa released his message of condolences in which he says the department in consultation with the family will keep the public and other stakeholders informed of the funeral arrangements.

He paid tribute to Masekela, who was part of the department’s Living Legends Legacy Project aimed at engaging icons with the younger generation for his immense contribution to transforming the arts in South Africa and the world.

Meanwhile, Masekela’s son, Salema paid tribute to his father on Wednesday.

He says his father never complained about the hardships he experienced and always encouraged others to do the same.

“My father had to struggle so much in life and had to overcome so much that he never had time for anyone who was complacent. For him, complaining was never an option. So, why not laugh and try and find as much joy as possible in existence with others when there is so much darkness in the world? I think that’s why he was, as I said in the letter, someone who always was on the side of the displaced and the downtrodden,” Salema said.

The jazz icon passed away on Tuesday morning after a battle with prostate cancer. He was surrounded by family members in a Johannesburg hospital.

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