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Ramaphosa declares official funeral for Zola Skweyiya

The former minister and high commissioner in London died on Wednesday morning at the age of 75.

Cyril Ramaphosa arrived at the home of Zola Skweyiya on Thursday 12 April 2018. Picture: Clement Manyathela/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared an official funeral for African National Congress struggle stalwart Zola Skweyiya, saying his deaths is a great loss to the organisation and the country.

The president, together with his deputy David Mabuza, African National Congress Secretary-General Ace Magashule and Treasurer General Paul Mashatile visited the Skweyiya family in Pretoria on Thursday evening.

The former minister and high commissioner in London died on Wednesday morning at the age of 75.

The president says Skweyiya made significant contributions to the struggle for freedom.

“With Dr Skweyiya as well we will be declaring an official funeral. Not only because he was a past minister but also because of his stature in our movement, in the struggle, in the contribution that he has made in the liberation and the development of our people.”

Ramaphosa says Skweyiya's role in government laid the foundations for the progress government has made in caring for the poor.

He says the struggle stalwart serves the ANC and government with great distinction.

“And became one of our key ministers in government and he was a minister in Social Development and that department he laid the foundation and the basis for us to make the type of progress that we have made in social development, in caring for our people and particularly in the rollout of the grants system that we now have today which cares for 17 million beneficiaries.”