JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma on Monday said he will miss the energy of former Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka.
The African National Congress (ANC) confirmed his death on Monday morning.
The last year of his life was plagued by controversy after he was accused of corruption and abusing state funds.
He was placed on sick leave in February 2011, although the nature of illness was never disclosed.
In October 2011, President Jacob Zuma announced that Shiceka had been replaced.
This was prompted by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's findings that Shiceka had abused public funds.
It had emerged the late minister spent R600 000 on luxury travel, which included an overseas visit to his former lover, who was imprisoned in a Swiss jail.
Shiceka remained defiant to the end and insisted the findings of maladministration did not undermine his credibility.
The Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane said, “The allegations against him were quite strong. His performance was certainly not the best. But we really are sending our condolences to the family."
Born on 8 June 1966, Shiceka was involved in politics at a very young age.
He became the leader of the Azanian Students Organisation in 1987.
By 1991, he had taken up a position as provincial secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and provincial secretary of Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in 1992.
After South Africa became a democracy, Shiceka became a member of the Gauteng Provincial Executive Council of the ANC.
He was also a director of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee.
Academically, Shiceka attained degrees in Arts, Political Economy and diplomas in Labour Relations and Economics.
Some of the tertiary institutions he attended were the University of the Free State, Wits, and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in America.
He was most notably known for his position in the National Assembly as the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.