Xolani Gwala died on Friday after a long battle with colon cancer.

Xolani Gwala died on Friday after a long battle with colon cancer.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 07: Radio presenter Xolani Gwala during an interview about his cancer battle and returning to the airwaves on August 07, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Gwala, the 702 presenter announced in 2017 that he was taking a break from radio after he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Gwala is now in remission, back on radio and on a mission to fight the condition’s stigma. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Moeletsi Mabe)

Xolani Gwala’s widow, former Miss SA Peggy-Sue Khumalo, has shared her heartbreak over the death of her husband, saying in a statement that the family had hoped for a miracle that never materialised.

The veteran broadcaster died on Friday morning after a long battle with colon cancer.

He was diagnosed in 2017, but was confirmed to be in remission in July last year.

“The children and I, and the rest of the family, are devastated to share with you that our dearest XG, father, friend, broadcasting icon and campaigner for cancer awareness, tragically lost his brave battle against this ferocious disease today,” Khumalo said.

She added that Gwala had undergone treatment in Israel, but that the miracle they were hoping for had not come. Still, she was grateful for precious moments she shared with him over the past few months.

“We were hopeful, but always knew the gravity of the situation. From February to June this year, Xolani took part in a world-first clinical trial in Israel. His medical team has been amazing and we have enormous admiration for the work they are doing in advancing cancer treatment.

“While the miracle did not materialise, these last few months have been precious, and we are eternally grateful that Xolani has been able to spend them with us as a family. This journey has made our family so much stronger and brought us ever closer together.”

She ended her statement by bidding farewell to her husband.

“Hamba kahle, Mphephethwa. We cannot express how much we will miss you. God bless.”

Read the family’s full statement below:

Fellow South Africans,

Just over two years ago, our beloved and well-respected media broadcaster and my dearest partner, Xolani Gwala, informed his Radio 702 listeners and colleagues that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The children and I, and the rest of the family, are devastated to share with you that our dearest XG, father, friend, broadcasting icon and campaigner for cancer awareness, tragically lost his brave battle against this ferocious disease today.

We have been moved and inspired by his hard and formidable fight he waged, which represented his greatness and willpower to conquer. Xolani won his battle against cancer not only for himself but for many others and was a fierce campaigner for cancer awareness and early detection.

Since the public announcement in September 2017, myself and Xolani, together with our families, have been deeply touched by the massive outpourings of love and ongoing support from so many South Africans.

Xolani was an inspiration and mentor to so many colleagues, friends and listeners over the years. We thank you for your heart-felt messages. These have meant so much to us. Siyabonga!

Your thoughts, prayers and best wishes have made an enormous difference and helped us cope. You gave Xolani enormous strength as he recovered from liver surgeries and underwent his treatments, while always maintaining his infectious laugh and sense of humour.

We were hopeful but always knew the gravity of the situation. From February to June this year, Xolani took part in a world-first clinical trial in Israel. His medical team has been amazing and we have enormous admiration for the work they are doing in advancing cancer treatment.

While the miracle did not materialise, these last few months have been precious, and we are eternally grateful that Xolani has been able to spend them with us as a family. This journey has made our family so much stronger and brought us ever closer together.

To all the people who have grown to love Xolani, thank you for your compassion and prayers. We know you will respect our privacy in what is a devastating time for us all.

To the medical teams lead by Dr Ormondi Ogude and Dr Thomas Marumo thank you for believing and going an extra mile in your medical search to preserve Xolani’s life.

To the nursing staff at the Sandton Oncology, Morningside Clinic and Donald Gordon your commitment, care and support was unwavering and we thank you for serving our hero with profound respect and kindness. May your professionalism and excellence continue to touch many South Africans.

Hamba kahle, Mphephethwa. We cannot express how much we will miss you. God bless.

Peggy-Sue Khumalo, all the children and the Gwala family.