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Dlamini Zuma pays tribute to Annan during memorial service

Kofi Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, died last week in Switzerland after a short illness.

Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says former UN secretary general Kofi Annan’s death comes at a time when the world most requires his guidance.

Dlamini Zuma paid tribute to Annan at a memorial service in Pretoria on Friday, saying he played an instrumental role in resolving many conflicts across the globe.

Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, died last week in Switzerland after a short illness. He was 80.

Dlamini Zuma who Annan for his ability to connect people.

“You could speak to him without fearing that you were speaking to this great giant of the world. But he also guided you and gave you advice.”

UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka says Annan understood that empowering women was a precondition for meeting the challenges of reducing poverty.

Annan was also described as a soft-spoken but strong and courageous leader, as well as a good peacekeeper.

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo announced this week that Annan will have state burial in Ghana next month.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)