DURBAN - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday described Roy Padayachie as a friend and brother who was committed to the liberation struggle.
He was addressing mourners at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Wednesday.
The Public Service and Administration Minister died in his Addis Ababa hotel at the weekend while on official duty.
Zuma said Padayachie was one of the people who greeted him after he was released from Robben Island.
“Today, we celebrate his selfless and outstanding contribution, and how he suffered to bring about democracy.”
Zuma thanked Padayachie’s widow and family for sharing him with the nation.
Earlier, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and one of Padayachie's daughters delivered moving tributes.
The minister told mourners that Padayachie was a man who died as he lived - in service.
Padayachie’s daughter, Trevana, said: “Politics was engraved and entrenched in every aspect of his life. No other career mattered, despite his numerous degrees.”
(Edited by Zethu Zulu)