Holomisa: Skweyiya was a true leader

Political leaders used the memorial service of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to also send messages of condolences to the family of another struggle stalwart Zola Skweyiya, who died on Wednesday morning.

FILE: Zola Skweyiya delivering a speech on 20 June 2006 during the second day of two-week session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Political leaders used the memorial service of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to also send messages of condolences to the family of another struggle stalwart Zola Skweyiya, saying that his passing has added to the pain the country is already going through.

Skweyiya died on Wednesday morning at a Pretoria hospital.

It’s not clear what caused his death on the same day South Africans gathered at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto to bid farewell to Madikizela-Mandela.

Madikizela-Mandela has been remembered as a selfless leader, with many agreeing that without the 81-year-old struggle icon, South Africa would not be where it is today.

Delegates from different political parties attended Madikizela-Mandela’s memorial service on Wednesday.

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Eyewitness News spoke to United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa on the side-lines and he not only sent a message to the woman affectionately known as the mother of the nation but also to Skweyiya.

“I can say that Skweyiya was a true leader.”

African National Congress (ANC) NEC member Tony Yengeni says that Skweyiya’s passing couldn't have come at a more terrible time.

“It’s a sad day. We were supposed to be commemorating the life of comrade Winnie, then comrade Zola Skweyiya passes on.”

Skweyiya is a long-standing member of the ANC and has served as minister in numerous portfolios, including public service and social development.