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Former Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile dies at 71

Stofile was the Minister of Sports from 2004 to 2010 and had been serving as SA’s ambassador to Germany.

FILE: Makhenkesi Stofile. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile has died.

Deputy Sports Minister Gert Oosthuizen confirmed the news earlier this afternoon.

Stofile was the Minister of Sport from 2004 to 2010 and had been serving as South Africa's Ambassador to Germany.

He was formerly the African National Congress's (ANC) chief whip in the first democratically elected government.

Oosthuizen has passed his condolences to Stofile's wife and family.

"I spoke to his wife a couple of minutes ago and he just passed on. I was supposed to see him on Saturday afternoon in Cape Town to spend some time with him."

Oosthuizen says he was fortunate to spend some time with the former minister at his home in Cape Town recently.

South African Rugby Union (SARU) President Oregan Hoskins is among those mourning Stofile's death.

Hoskins says he was informed of the death by SARU colleagues in the Eastern Cape.

At the same time, the ANC has released a statement expressing its sadness and condolences to the Stofile family.

"The ANC owes an indelible debt of gratitude to Cde Stofile, former Treasurer General of the ANC, Minister of Sports and Recreation and South African ambassador to Germany for his sterling role in politics and sports in both the liberation movement and South Africa at large."

The ruling party's statement added, "May his family find solace in the knowledge of the immeasurable contribution he made to the liberation of South Africa and our national project of socio-economic transformation."

Makhenkesi Stofile's first words to me when we met at the Union Buildings some time in 2009: "Ya Msawawa". RIP



So sad to hear about Rev Makhenkesi Stofile's passing. What a loss. #RIP



So sad to hear Rev Makhenkesi #Stofile passed. May his soul rest on peace.



Former Eastern Cape premier and Minister of Sport and Recreation (2004-2010) Makhenkesi Stofile has died at the age of 71.



Shem i remember when i was in primary school we had a song about Makhenkesi Stofile,Mbazimba,Trevor Tito those days



My prayers are with the Stofiles after the sad passing of ex Eastern Cape premier & former SA minister of sport Makhenkesi Stofile. RIP Faku

REMEMBERING STOFILE

Stofile joined politics in 1963 as a member of the African Students' Association. He was elected the regional secretary and National Executive Member of the United Democratic Front between 1983 and 1986; driving the charge for the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the Border region.

Having joined the African National Congress in 1958, Bra Stof as he was affectionately known, was arrested and served an 11-year imprisonment for terrorism under the then Ciskean Internal Security Act in 1986.

He served as the Provincial Chairperson of the ANC in the Eastern Cape in 1996, was appointed as Premier of the Eastern Cape in 1997 until 2004.

A minister of the Presbyterian Church of South Africa since 1975 and a dedicated and loyal servant of the people, Bra Stof had an abiding love for sports and sports administration.

He held a number of presidential roles for sporting bodies. He was President of the South Eastern Districts Rugby Union from 1975-1982 and also a member of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee Board of Directors.

He led from the front in the campaign for non-racial sport and long been a committed supporter of anti-doping.

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