Legendary jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, a leading figure in the struggle to end apartheid and “the father of South African jazz”, has died aged 78.

In a statement, his family said he had “passed peacefully” in Johannesburg “after a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer”.

Masekela gained global recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and hits such as Soweto Blues.

The 1977 song became synonymous with the anti-apartheid movement.

In a statement, South African President Jacob Zuma said Masekela’s death was “an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large”.

Zuma continued, “His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten.”