Late former Cabinet minister and African National Congress stalwart, Dr Zola Skweyiya, worked tirelessly to ensure the dignity of people and his concern was for the poor in South Africa, Deputy President David Mabuza said on Wednesday.
“As minister of social development, his concern for the poor and the downtrodden was evident. He worked tirelessly to ensure that the dignity of recipients of social support from the state was respected and honoured,” Mabuza said at the special official memorial service at the Tshwane Events Centre.
“To him, it was one whose importance lay in bringing hope to the destitute. He understood that even though the road to the total emancipation of his people was long, they needed to have faith that their government would not forsake the vulnerable. Consistently humble, yet straightforwardly fearless to defend the rights of the elderly and children. He understood the plight of the poor and could easily relate to its nature and form.”
Skweyiya died at the age of 75 on April 11. Skweyiya was public service and administration minister from 1994 to 1999, social development minister from 1999 to 2009 before he was appointed South Africa’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Mabuza said the ANC wished to assure Skweyiya’s spirit and the veterans of the ANC that they “regret some of the omissions we have committed in the service of our people”.
“We want to assure his spirit that the organisation he so loved and dedicated his entire adult life to, is on an irreversible path of renewal as the true and honest servant of the people.”
The funeral service will be held on Saturday.
– African News Agency (ANA)