Nelson Mandela's former private secretary Zelda la Grange. Picture: Henk Kruger

Zelda La Grange, who was former president Nelson Mandela's personal assistant for many years, has taken to social media to defend TV and radio personality Tumi Morake following recent racist attacks on the Jacaranda FM breakfast show host.

Earlier this week Tumi shared a screengrab of a racist message sent to her via Twitter. The disgruntled listener wrote: "You are the most annoying person on radio...please resign and go to the bush...(sic).

Tumi said that the racist attacks were amplified after she and her co-host Martin Bester had an on-air discussion about Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyer's cancelled concert.

Hofmeyr was set to headline the annual 'Afrikaans is Lekker Tour' held in Australia and New Zealand, but the New Zealand gig was reportedly cancelled because of protests by Wellington's locals. However, Hofmeyr's PR agent says it was cancelled due to high venue costs.

LISTEN: Tumi Morake brushes off racist comments

In a heartfelt message shared on her public Facebook page, Zelda voiced her opinion about the recent attacks against Tumi. 

She wrote: " About what Tumi said: I had to learn that not everything I experience in life is either the alpha or omega...We are all equally angry at where SA is today. Whether it's about crime, farm murders or the fact that you still don't have a job or medical aid after 23 years. 

"Our anger at the common denominator, read government, manifests itself in our daily lives on every level. Human nature requires us to have someone to be angry at..
"Tumi did not ask for anyone to be crucified. She didn't ask for extra money because of her past. She expects nothing but just to be heard. Have you tried saying to someone who is angry at you : 'I understand'?..."

Zelda appealed to people to be more understanding because "we don't listen to understand".

"She didn't ask for people to apologise. She asked to be understood. And we don't listen to understand. We listen to respond. 
My people were responsible for Apartheid. I can't change it but I can be caring, understanding, patient and have empathy.

"Our default reaction has become to tear down anything outside of our 'us'. Equally black and white, while the people we actually should be angry at are the people failing to manage this country irrespective of who or what they are...

"Let's go forward. Madiba always said its easier to change others than to change oneself. It's hard. I know that myself. But we can never stop trying."

On Wednesday Tumi shared a popular Scott Stable quote meme on her Instagram page, which also made reference to misunderstanding.

It read: "Let them judge you let them misunderstand you. Let them gossip about you Their opinions aren't your problem You stay kind, committed to love, and free in your authenticity. No matter what they do or say don't you dare doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth. Just keep on shining like you do."

A post shared by Tumi Morake (@tumi_morake) on

Tumi also said that she would not apologise for loving her country and that people who claim to love South Africa wouldn't do so without loving the people in the country.