His family confirmed the news on 702, this morning.
Gwala had revealed that he was diagnosed with the illness while speaking to Stephen Grootes on 702 in 2017. After receiving treatment, he returned to radio in 2018.
He had an illustrious career in South African broadcasting, having worked as a reporter, news anchor, producer, talk show host and current affairs presenter. Gwala started his news career at the SABC in KZN in the early '90s, then went on to host current affairs show at SAFM, Johannesburg, his TV show on SABC and finally went on to 702 to host his talk show.
“Xolani had a special pedigree. He was a hard-hitting broadcaster but respectful to his guests. He always got the answers without being rude. He loved radio, and he believed in its power to hold those in authority accountable and as a vehicle for South Africans to talk,” said South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase.
According to EWN, those who were close with him have described him as “hard-hitting yet warm, fierce with a touch of softness as well as fearless with a generous spirit.”
Fans and friends have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to Gwala.
XG was many things but the thing I appreciated most about him was his huge heart. He was always so kind. When Sizwe and I started at 702 he was affirming and generous, he cheered us on. I’m so sad he’s gone. Go well Mphephetwa ��— Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) November 1, 2019
RIP Xolani Gwala.
You were a brilliant broadcaster, a kind human being with an affable smile, always.
Condolences to your family and friends.
BRO!!! ���� The fight you put up was nothing short of admirable!! You were always selfless and wanting to BE the difference!!! Broadcasting has lost a titan!! Till we meet again �� #RIPXolaniGwala pic.twitter.com/l9HNiCMD5y
— DJ Fresh (Big Dawg) (@DJFreshSA) November 1, 2019
In an era of personality driven, ‘brand’ journalism, Xolani Gwala stood out for his self-effacing, accommodating style. To me, the man was class personified. As a fan of many years, I will miss you greatly #ripXG https://t.co/TFLeu9sjH7
— Beauregard Tromp (@beetromp) November 1, 2019
Farewell to one of the great men of broadcasting. Seldom seen without that radiant smile.
Xolani Gwala has died. RIP to a superb broadcaster and human being.— Sibongile Mafu (@sboshmafu) November 1, 2019