SA’s LGBTQ+ community remembers Dr Sindi van Zyl as true ally

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The late Dr Sindi van Zyl

Members of South Africa’s LGBTQ+ community are mourning the tragic loss of doctor and radio host Sindi van Zyl at the age of 45.

In a statement, her family confirmed that she’d passed away in hospital in Johannesburg on Saturday morning, reportedly after battling Covid-19. She is survived by her husband Marinus and children, Nandi and Manie.

The Zimbabwe-born van Zyl was a household name thanks to her radio show on Kaya FM exploring medical, health and relationship matters.

Dubbed the “people’s doctor” she was also known for using social media to selflessly offer support and freely share HIV-related, mental health and other advice and information. So extensive was her generosity on Twitter that she was often asked if she slept at all.

Van Zyl, who served on the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Technical Task Team for Social Behaviour Change Communication, was a supporter and ally of the LGBTQ+ community and dedicated herself to promoting equal access to health services.

In 2019, she was recognised by the Feather Awards as the Social Media Personality of the Year.

With warmth, humanity and humour she helped open up the national conversation on eradicating stigma and ignorance about sexuality and sexual health.

The van Zyl family humbly thanked “everyone who stood together with them recently to help raise funds for Sindi’s hospital bill, in addition to the national outpour of prayer, love and support for her.”

Members of South Africa’s LGBTQ community flooded social media to express their shock and sadness at van Zyl’s death, remembering the impact that she had on them. MambaOnline joins them in expressing our deepest condolences to her loved ones.

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