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AUTHOR and academic Professor Mbulelo Mzamane has died.

According to family friend Morakabe Seakhoa, Mzamane died early yesterday morning at his home in Bloemfontein, Free State. He was 65 years old.

Seakhoa, speaking on behalf of the family, said Mzamane’s wife, Dr Tankiso Dikibo, told him the academic died in their home at 1am.

“His wife said Mzamane was suffering from diabetes and last month he was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas,” said Seakhoa

“The cancer was at an advanced stage and he was bleeding internally, which was suspected to have contributed to his death.”

Mzamane was a former vice-chancellor and rector of the University of Fort Hare and former director of Centre for African Literary Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

He has also worked at universities abroad and in neighbouring countries.

Mzamane is the author of Mzala (1980), Children of Soweto (1982), Children of the Diaspora (1996), and a children’s book, Race between the Turtles and the Cheetahs (2004) and editor of several other books.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later this week.