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Ramaphosa: Madikizela-Mandela, Skweyiya contributed a lot to ANC

The death of Zola Skweyiya comes at the time when the ANC is mourning the death of one of its stalwarts-Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

President Cyril Ramaphosa gathers among mourners at memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Bizana on 10 April 2018. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa says the African National Congress (ANC) is saddened by the departure of a few of its struggle stalwarts in such a short space of time, saying the organisation is losing not only its elders but also a memory bank.

Ramaphosa was speaking after visiting the home of former minister Zola Skweyiya, who died on Wednesday morning after a long illness.

The president, who was joined by his deputy David Mabuza, ANC secretery-general Ace Magashule and Treasurer Paul Mashatile, also declared an official funeral for the struggle stalwart.

The death of Skweyiya comes at the time when the ANC is mourning the death of one of its stalwarts-Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Ramaphosa says the last two weeks have been sad for the ANC.

“Within a short space of time we’re losing many leaders who were like the elders in our movement, who cared very deeply about their organisation and who also cared about our country.”

He says the struggle stalwarts who are passing contributed a lot to the organisation.

“We’re losing a memory bank of people who knew very well how our people lived, who knew very well how to care about our people.”

While Madikizela-Mandela will be buried on Saturday, the family of Skweyiya says his funeral details are still being finalised.