Shareen Swart. Picture: Twitter

South African actress, writer and director Shareen Swart passed away on Monday morning at the age of 58.

According to reports, Swart — best-known for her roles as Meisie Moolman  "Ballade Vir 'n Enkeling" and Katinka in the SABC2's "7de Laan" — lost her battle to cancer.

She was also the founder of the Performing Arts Lifestyle Institute. Taking to their official Facebook page, the institute paid tribute to their "mother Lion".

"We are saddened by the loss of PALI’s founder, director and mother Lion Shareen Swart this morning. Shareen has been a mentor, inspiration and friend to many and leaves behind an amazing legacy," the statement read.

Following news of her death, tributes started pouring in on social media.

One Facebook user wrote, "A great loss of an even greater person! Such a kind heart!" 

While another wrote: "Shareen’s soul was a great one. I really admired her for the person she was. She shined bright even in dark times. I still see her laugh while enjoying the fashion show only three weeks ago. Shareen will surely be missed by many. 

To her lovely daughters, Zoë and Hanka, may you find peace and inner comfort, she was a gem of a person. All involved at Pali, from the lecturers to the students, its tough and really painful, but stay strong and hold on to her memories and continue to build on what she started, and take Pali to even bigger heights in memory of a great actor and mentor (sic)".

The Theatre Benevolent Fund of South Africa also took to Twitter to pay tribute to Swart. 

"@TBFofSA mourns the passing of Shareen Swart - wonderful actress , director , teacher & mentor to many succesfull young actors, writers & director. May her love of her craft and her shining light  continue in Eternity (sic)"

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