Radio Presenter Maritjie Bothma Has Died: Remembering the Bubbly Intombi Yomzulu.
The radio industry is mourning the loss of beloved radio presenter and TV personality, Maritjie Bothma, widely known as Intombi Yomzulu. Bothma passed away on Monday after a brief illness, leaving behind a legacy of vibrant energy and fluency in isiZulu.
The radio station she worked for, Sauma HD Radio, announced her passing 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 provide further details regarding the circumstances of her passing.
Bothma, who grew up in the controversial KwaSizabantu Mission in KZN, was among the former church members who testified about human rights abuses at the mission.
In 2020, she shared her testimony before the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities, alleging physical and sexual abuse during her time there.
Bothma recounted disturbing experiences, including being forced to “suck on the breasts” of the church leader Erlo Stegen’s daughters, Ruth Combrink and Elizabeth Vermaak, when she was a young child.
She also revealed punishments she endured, such as having pepper water put in her mouth. Bothma’s courageous testimony shed light on the dark realities she and others faced.
Following the announcement of her passing, heartfelt tributes began pouring in. Publicist Zuza Mbatha wrote, “Ulale Ngokuthula Marietjie Bothma Intombi emhlophe yomZulu” (Rest in peace, Marietjie Bothma, the white girl of Zulu).
Nkiyase Mondlana Mbatha shared, “Rest In Peace my friend, Marietjie Bothma #ripmarietjiebothma.” Lebogang Masonta expressed, “What a great woman she was, rest well girl, you lived and fulfilled the assignment God gave you.”
The passing of Maritjie Bothma has left a void in the radio community, but her memory will be cherished by all those who were touched by her vibrant spirit and her bravery in sharing her story.
Rest in peace, Intombi Yomzulu.