Johannesburg - The ANC expressed shock and sadness on Monday at the death of South African actress Lesego Motsepe.
“Lesego.. was a courageous young woman with whom many of us were privileged to interact with in her many different and courageous guises,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
The 39-year-old died on Monday morning. Her body was discovered by her brother Moemise Motsepe around 11am at her home in Randburg, the family said in a statement.
“South Africa is much poorer for having lost such a bright star which shone amongst us,” Mthembu said.
Motsepe was declared dead at 1pm by paramedics. She died of natural causes.
She will be remembered for her role as Letti Matabane in the soapie, Isidingo. Motsepe was part of the cast from 1998 to 2008.
Motsepe announced her HIV-positive status on World Aids day in 2011, and became an Aids ambassador.
“She was also a unrelenting crusader in the fight against HIV and Aids,” Mthembu said.
Motsepe had participated in a live Twitter interview, hosted by the ANC, in which she openly discussed coping with the disease and empowered many people.
“Her last words during our social media live chat was ‘When you choose to live, you empower yourself, no matter what the challenges may be when living with any disease’,” Mthembu said.
“We hope her determination and her life story will continue to strengthen and comfort all those whose lives have been touched by this daughter of the soil.”
Motsepe is survived by her mother Ivy Skhosana, brothers Moemise and Andile Skhosana, and nieces and nephews.