Government has granted ANC veteran Zola Skweyiya a special official funeral. President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement at Skweyiya’s house in Pretoria.

Skweyiya died on Wednesday at Kloof Private Hospital before Ramaphosa could fulfill his plan to visit him while he was still in hospital.

Ramaphosa has described Dr Skweyiya’s passing as a major loss for the ANC and the nation. He says Skweyiya contributed immensely to the liberation struggle, and praised his work as Social Development minister between 1999 and 2009.

Ramaphosa, who was accompanied by his Deputy David Mabuza, explains why Skweyiya will be given a special official funeral.

“Because of his stature in our movement and the development of our people. With sadness, we say to Buti Zola Skweyiya, as we call him, go well and we will be there as the ANC to make sure that he’s given a proper send-off, so that we will forever remember the contribution that he made,” said Ramaphosa.

Dr Skweyiya’s passing comes at a time when the nation and the ruling party is mourning the loss of struggle hero Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Ramaphosa likened the passing on of the elders to the ANC losing a memory bank.

The exact details of the memorial service and funeral will be announced soon.

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