Johannesburg, Wednesday 11 April 2018 – Today, South African’s woke up to the sad news on the passing of politician Zola Skweyiya. He passed away at the age 75-year-old died while in hospital after a short illness.
Skweyiya’s life was devoted to the party he joined in 1956‚ notably serving as Minister of Public Service and Administration (1994-1999) and Minister of Social Development (1999-2009). He was appointed as South Africa’s High Commissioner to the UK in 2009 and received the order of Luthuli in 2014.
He was an active ANC activist at Fort Hare University and mobilized support for Umkhonto we Sizwe until going into exile in Tanzania. Skweyiya obtained an LLD degree from the University of Leipzig. He worked for the ANC in various offices and capacities and was responsible for setting up the ANC office in Addis Ababa‚ Ethiopia.
Between 1984 and 1993 he annually represented the ANC at the UN Commission for Human Rights, and contributed to the founding of the Centre for Development Studies and the South African Legal Defence Fund‚ both at the University of the Western Cape.
Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela said this is a sad period of mourning in South Africa.
“Today as we prepare to mourn the ‘Mother of our Nation’ and ANC struggle leader‚ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the official memorial service in Soweto – we woke up to the news
of another fallen struggle stalwart. The news on passing of Zola Skweyiya comes a day after the 25th commemoration of ANC-SACP leader Chris Hani’s assassination
“And last week our country lost Ambassador Sipho George Nene who died on the evening of the 6th of April 2018 – a day when the nation remembered the hanging and killing of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, by the apartheid regime, 39 years ago.”
Dr Makhubela encourages all South Africans to reflect on the freedom, privileges and rights that the nation enjoys today, which come as a result of the sacrifices made by these leaders.
“South Africans should strive to make our country better by protecting the freedom that so many who came before us fought for and died for. We wish to express our most sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of our struggle heroes. We share in your mourning, and hope you find comfort in the tributes pouring in from the nation and the world,” concluded Dr Makhubela.
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