Zuma conveys condolences to Cuba on Castro's death

Fidel Castro died on Friday night in Havana at the age of 90. The details surrounding his death are not yet clear.

Fidel Castro. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has sent his condolences to Cuba following the death of former president Fidel Castro, saying South Africa shares the loss of the Cuban people and stands with them during this time of grief.

Castro died on Friday night in Havana at the age of 90.

His brother and Cuban president Raul announced his death on state television on Saturday morning.

President Zuma says Castro dedicated his life not only to ensuring the freedom of Cuban people, but also joined the struggle against the apartheid government.

The Department of International Relations' Clayson Monyela says: “He identified with the struggle against apartheid and mobilised the Cuban people to join us. After 1994, Cuba and South Africa, under presidents Castro and Mandela, formed a strong bond of solidarity and friendship.”

The president adds the strong bonds between South Africa and Cuba must be maintained and nurtured.

Meanwhile in Miami, a large crowd waving Cuban flags has taken to the streets, cheering and dancing, in celebrations over Castro’s death

Castro’s remains will be cremated according to his wishes, while details on his funeral are expected to be announced soon.

The details surrounding Castro's death are not yet clear.

It's believed the leader suffered from bad health in recent years and kept out of the public eye.

Castro was born on 13 August in 1926 in a small town in eastern Cuba.

To view a fact box on Fidel Castro, click here.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)