South African rally champ Gugu

South African rally champ Gugu Zulu has died while climbing Kilimanjaro in Mandela Day expedition

A charitable climb up Kilimanjaro has ended in tragedy for one of South Africa’s most celebrated rally drivers.

South African rally champ Gugu

South Africa’s most celebrated rally driver Gugu Zulu has died while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation confirmed that Gugu Zulu had died while attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

“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,” a statement read.

“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.

Zulu was attempting to summit the mountain under the banner of Trek4Mandela, in order to create awareness around challenges facing impoverished girls in rural areas and poor schools during their monthly cycles. Money raised will be used to buy sanitary ware for girls across the country.

While exact details are not known, it has been confirmed that Zulu was rushed to hospital on Sunday after struggling with breathing problems. He was put on a drip and ENCA reported that the “medical teams did everything possible to save his life”.

This was Gugu’s last post on his Facebook page on 16 July:

“Made it though (sic) 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!!”

Zulu was a celebrated rally driver and won the SA National Rally Class Championships in 2007, 2009 and 2010. He also won the Vodacom Isondo Sports 2000 national championship and has received the Guinness Achievement Award. He has also won the Wesbank Award and Goodyear Star of Tomorrow Award.