Band member: Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder not 'critically ill'

'He's not critically ill, he's recovering from the leg operation,' said Sandile Khumalo of the group

18 September 2018 - 08:00 By Chrizelda Kekana
President Jacob Zuma and eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede honour Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s retired lead Joseph Shabalala with a certificate of appreciation during the Essence Festival All Star music concert in November 2016.
President Jacob Zuma and eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede honour Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s retired lead Joseph Shabalala with a certificate of appreciation during the Essence Festival All Star music concert in November 2016.
Image: Gallo Images / Khaya Ngwenya

Sandile Khumalo of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo group has shut down reports that founder Joseph Shabalala is "critically ill" insisting that he is recovering from an operation.

Sandile asked fans not to panic over reports that Joseph's health was deteriorating.

"No, he's not so critical. He's still going to therapy (to walk). Yes, he is not very well because sometimes he forgets other things, then his memory slowly comes back. He's old, but he's not critical. He's had an operation and he's been going to therapy to help him walk."

Sunday Sun reported that the iconic musician's health was "deteriorating" and that in addition to not being able to walk without help, he also had a hearing problem.

The Ladysmith Black Mambazo member said Joseph was well taken care of.

"There's really no need to panic at all. There's an in-house doctor that is available to care for him and help him with everything he needs."

Sandile also said they were looking forward to the launch of the Dr Joseph Shabalala Foundation and that the legendary musician was also looking forward to the event.

Joseph has been battling with his health ever since his retirement from the group about four years ago and was visited by former president Jacob Zuma in April 2017 after several stints in hospital for illness and back surgery.


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