Mandla Maseko, 30, the first black African who would have travelled to space has died, his family confirmed on Sunday.

Maseko, popularly known as Spaceboy and Afronaut – beat 1 million people to become one of 23 people who won a seat sponsored by the Axe Apollo Space Academy, on an hour-long sub-orbital trip in 2014.

However, his trip to space was not meant to be after he was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle on Saturday.

“He was a larger than life figure. We are all still reeling at the moment. We are very distraught because most people only found out this morning. It is still very hard, painful and tragic,” his business manager and close friend Sthembile Shabangu told News24.

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