Tributes are pouring in for the radio presenter and TV personality Maritjie Bothma. Known as Intombi Yomzulu, Bothma passed away on Monday after a short illness.
Announcing her passing, the radio station she worked for, Sauma HD Radio said in a statement: "It is with sadness to announce that one of our radio family presenters, Marietjie Bothma passed on today 29 May 2023. Lala ngoxolo Sisi Marietjie Bothma. Good night." The station did not explain what happened to Bothma, who was known for being bubbly and being fluent in isiZulu.
Bothma, who grew up at the controversial KwaSizabantu Mission in KZN, was one of the former members of the church who testified of the human rights abuse at the mission. Giving testimony before the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities in 2020, Bothma alleged that she was physically and sexually abused at the mission. She claimed that she was made to "suck on the breasts" of the church leader Erlo Stegenâ€™s daughters, Ruth Combrink and Elizabeth Vermaak when she was a child. "When we would talk about it, they used to punish me by putting pepper water in my mouth. I was only a child and younger than five," Botha told the Commission.
Soon after her passing was announced, tributes started pouring in. Publicist Zuza Mbatha wrote:"Ulale Ngokuthula Marietjie Bothma Intombi emhlophe yomZulu". Nkiyase Mondlana Mbatha wrote: "Rest In Peace my friend, Marietjie Bothma #ripmarietjiebothma". Lebogang Masonta posted: "What a great woman she was, rest well girl you lived and fulfilled the assignment God gave you." Writer Loyiso Lindani said, "Iâ€™m hearing that the legendary Marietjie Bothma is no more. What a sad day. Yhooo this woman lived. I found her through TikTok and randomly a video of hers appeared on my timeline. In the video, she was sharing how she survived the most life-changing events of her life. I was amazed and Iâ€™m so thankful God made it possible for us to meet in person. Iâ€™m sad for her daughter and family. What a deeply moving life story, may she fly with the angels."