The South African government has sent its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of South African radio veteran, Jeremy Mansfield, who passed away at the age of 59.
Mansfield, known for his dynamic presence on radio and for his role in raising funds for charity, lost his battle with Stage 4 cancer on Monday morning.
Mansfield announced on Facebook that he was diagnosed with liver cancer in January 2022, after beating leukaemia 13 years ago.
According to the family spokesperson, long-time colleague and close friend, Sam Cowan, Mansfield died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends and boundless love.
The late broadcaster started on Capital Radio 604 in 1985 and signed off in his final radio broadcast at Hot 91.9 FM in 2021 to take a sabbatical because of ill health.
“Mansfield also captured the hearts of listeners with his shows on Radio 702 and Highveld Stereo,” the government’s statement read.
He ended a 13-year run on the Rude Awakening, a breakfast show on 94.7 Highveld Stereo in 2010.
In the mid-1990s, he also presented SABC 2’s A Word and appeared as a featured contributor and guest presenter on M-Net for Front Row and SuperSport.
Mansfield wrote a number of books, including Vrot Jokes, a South African bestseller.
“Mansfield contributed immensely to the world of entertainment via the radio as a communication platform. He has left an indelible mark on South African radio,” said GCIS Director-General, Phumla Williams.
Meanwhile, Cowen said under a “naughty exterior”, Jeremy had a huge soft heart.
“A lot of people got to see and hear that over the radio but he saved his vulnerability for a select few. He was determined that the world be a better and shinier and funnier place and he drove the road to that destination at 1000 miles an hour with no rearview mirror, all of the rest of us clinging on for dear life!”
Jeremy’s family have suffered several losses in the past 13 months. In March his “beloved, gentle middle brother” Stephen died after suffering several infections following a blockage removal. Six months previously, in September 2021, Jeremy lost his other brother, Charles, a Gold Medallist for South Africa at the Atlanta Special Olympics. Jeremy said at the time: “Despite being mentally handicapped I believe he achieved more than anyone in our extended family (and believe me it is extended… in excess of 100!!) in his own way. A true Mansfield.” In August, Jeremy’s beloved mom passed away on his birthday.
Samantha said Jeremy will be missed by all who loved him.
“The family is devastated and is asking for privacy during this time. Right to the end, we were reading him your messages and he was so happy to hear them all, every single one,” she told social media users. “He knew he was loved and it mattered. He mattered. There will be a new star in the sky tonight. As he would have said, good night, Bunnies.”
– SAnews.gov.za and FB / Jeremy Mansfield