The late Siswati literature author, Dr Jozi Joseph Thwala, popularly known as JJ Thwala, has been described as an academic who was passionate with the development of the Siswati language.

Dr Thwala passed on at age 62 on Monday.

Fellow isiZulu literature author and long-time friend, Elphas Jaha Mhlanga says Thwala wrote a number of Siswati books including short stories and poems that are still used by various schools in the province.

Mhlanga says Thwala helped in integrating the language and development of Siswati words.

“But those are the people who decided in as much as these languages are regarded as not important, but for us as Siswati people we need to bring dignity as Siswati people and we need to develop. We cannot make an excuse of saying Siswati is not a language, so we cannot do anything about  – it we need to build our language.”