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ANC mourns Chavez death

ANC has hailed the late Venezuelan President as a ‘champion of the poor.’

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) said the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was a great loss to developing countries.

Chavez died on Wednesday at the age of 58 after a two year battle with cancer.

The Venezuelan government has declared a seven day period of mourning and Chavez will be laid to rest tomorrow.

The ruling party's Keith Khoza said, "We view him as an unequalled leader of the people of Venezuela."

Khoza also said Chavez was also at the forefront of the struggles of the poor in the country and the world.

MOURNERS LINE THE STREETS FOR CHAVEZ

Meanwhile, millions of Chavez supporters paraded his coffin through the streets of Caracas on Wednesday.

The emotional outpouring by the "Chavistas", could help his deputy win an election to keep Chavez's socialist revolution alive.

A sea of the "Chavistas" marched behind a hearse carrying the body of the flamboyant and outspoken President, draped in Venezuela's blue, red and yellow national flag.

His body was taken to a military academy to lie in state at the tip of a grand esplanade until his state funeral on Friday.