Phiri died after a long battle with lung cancer, and is to be laid to rest in his home province of Mpumalanga.
According to talk radio station 702, Phiri’s mother will only learn of his passing today. His mother is in her late 90s, and it is believed she will be told today because of her frail state.
“Let me suffer pain, on my own with dignity,” he was quoted as saying by The Sowetan this week after reports emerged that his cost of treatment was leading to a public plea for funding.
Phiri family spokesperson Paul Nkanyane said relatives had wanted to keep his illness private and stopped a crowdfunding initiative to assist with hospital bills.
“He had been battling for a while and his family were told that it wouldn’t be that long. He died surrounded by friends and family and looked peaceful as he passed.
“We are devastated and, naturally, asked why this has happened. But we are coming to terms with the loss because we understand that this is life and we have to be strong,” he told Tshisa LIVE.
Watch the video below for details of Phiri’s passing