Would-be first black African in space dies in motorcycle crash

Man Set To Become First Black African In Space, Dies In Motorcycle Accident

He underwent a week of skydiving, air combat and G-force training at the Kennedy Space Academy in Florida in preparation for the flight, where he also met Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon.

"He broke new ground by being the first black president in South Africa. that was inspiration for me", said Maseko.

He was an avid biker with the Tshwane Legend Bikers. Maseko was a keen DJ in his free time, which is why some people also refer to him as DJ Mandla.

In 2016 he was honored by the Gauteng education department and had the science building at the Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation named after him. Only 30 years old!

He spent eight days aboard the worldwide space station in 2002.

Shabangu said that even though Maseko did not end up going into space, he would have wanted his hope to spread.

In what has appeared to be not just a blow to the family but the African continent in general, Maseko was hit by a vehicle while riding his motorcycle on Saturday.

A South African man who beat one million applicants to win a trip to space, and be the first black African to leave earth's atmosphere, died in a motorbike crash.

"It is with deep sadness that the Maseko family confirms that Mandla Maseko tragically passed away in a bike accident last night, July 6 2019", his business manager and close friend Sthembile Shabangu said in a media release.

So saddened to hear of Mandla's tragic and sudden death. You put us on the Map Mandla, you believed the sky was never the limit, but there was so much more beyond it. #RIPMandlaMaseko - @Khanyi_Magubane#RIPMandlaMaseko Afronaut extraordinaire. We are very distraught because most people only found out this morning.

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