South African singer Brenda Fassie has died following heart failure. She was 39.

The WEEKEND SPECIAL hitmaker was rushed to Johannesburg's SUNNINGHILL HOSPITAL last month (26APR04) after an asthma attack led to cardio-respiratory arrest.

Fassie slipped into a coma and passed away on Sunday (09MAY04) in her hometown of Cape Town.

The star - dubbed the 'Black Madonna' - was a politically active singer who penned tunes about township life, love and the struggle against apartheid.

During her two week stay in hospital, Fassie was visited by President Thabo Mbeki and WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA - the ex-wife of former President Nelson Mandela.

Mbeki says, "She made our souls rise in bliss wherever her voice reached."

Fassie will be buried in Cape Town. She is survived by her son BONGANI.

11/05/2004 13:20