Dozens of members of the diplomatic cops are gathered at the department on international relations in Pretoria to bid farewell to former ambassador George Nene.

Nene who passed away last week, worked at the department as a diplomat since 1994 and only retired two years ago.

Nene was chairperson of the South African Association of Former Ambassadors and the first high commissioner to Nigeria.

Amongst those in attendance are family members, senior government officials including current and former members of cabinet, heads of various foreign missions here in South Africa as well as members of the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).

Minister of international relations and co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu and former deputy minister Aziz Pahad are amongst the speakers who will be paying special tribute to Nene.

Nene will be buried at Avalon cemetery in Soweto on Friday.