President Cyril Ramaphosa has joined South Africans and the world mourning the passing of renowned traditional healer, prophet, author and cultural historian Bab’ Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa.

Bab’ Credo, as he is popularly known, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 98.

“On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and supporters of Bab’ Credo.

“We have lost one of our most ardent champions of African cultural heritage preservation, who dedicated his life to fighting ignorance of our African customs.

“Our country is the poorer at his passing, but he leaves behind a vast body of work and a wealth of knowledge that we will continue to study and learn from in years to come,” said President Ramaphosa.

Regarded by his followers and supporters as a prophet and diviner, Credo Mutwa predicted a number of domestic and international events of significance, such as the Soweto Uprisings of 1976, the 1993 assassination of Chris Hani, and conflict between the US and Iran.

Working from his home in Kuruman in the Northern Cape, he and his wife ran a traditional healing practice. The couple also ran a hospice for many years.

He was a cultural activist and prolific author whose works shed light on African legends, customs and religious beliefs. His first book, Indaba, My Children, sold over 250 000 copies.

“As a nation we pay homage to Bab’ Credo who throughout his life affirmed the necessity for us as Africans to take pride in our customs and cultural heritage, even as colonial and apartheid authorities sought to denigrate them,” President Ramaphosa said.

In recognition of his contribution to indigenous knowledge preservation, in 2018 he was a recipient of the Department of Arts and Culture’s Usiba Award.

Last year, the Department of Arts and Culture also presented Bab’ Credo and his wife Virginia with a new home, in response to a plea for the family for assistance as his health was failing.

“In his honour I call upon all South Africans to acquaint themselves with Bab’ Credo’s work, of which the foundation that bears his name is a repository,” President Ramaphosa said.

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