President Cyril Ramaphosa has joined the nation in mourning the passing of Mary Twala-Mhlongo, describing her as a great icon of the nation’s creative community.

Mhlongo passed away at the Parklane Hospital in Johannesburg. She was 80.

Mhlongo had an extensive career in film and television. She has featured in the small screen in drama series such as Hlala Kwabafileyo and Molo Fish.

In her long career she was nominated for various awards, including in the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting role in 2011.

In 2019, President Ramaphosa awarded her The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver.

In the video below, Lillian Dube pays tribute to her late friend:

Ramaphosa says her performances brought to life the meaning of being South African and appealed to all generations.

Ministers Lindiwe Sisulu and Fikile Mbalula, the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Julius Malema as well as Professor Thuli Madonsela are some of those tweeting their condolences to Mhlongo.

The tributes describe Twala as a legendary trailblazer whose departure is a loss not only for her son, but also a great loss for the nation. Actress, Connie Chiume, says she was undoubtedly the ‘mother of theatre ‘ whose legacy will live on.