President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the passing of Environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa who passed away on Saturday.
Molewa passed away at a Pretoria hospital after a period of illness.
Ramaphosa said he offered his deepest condolences to the Molewa family as well as to her colleagues in cabinet who had the privilege to work with the extraordinary leader.
In a statement the president said:
“This is a devastating loss to our nation and to the global community who owe a great debt of gratitude to the late Minister Molewa for her championship nationally and globally for the environmental integrity of a sustainable planet earth that can be shared and enjoyed by all nations and all people, rich and poor.
“Minister Molewa has distinguished herself in many capacities and causes from her contribution to our liberation to fighting for equality of women in our society. We shall miss her greatly.”
A period of mourning has been declared by the president effective immediately. He ordered that the national flag be flown at half mast at all flag stations countrywide including the South African diplomatic missions abroad.
Ramaphosa plans to visit the Molewa family before he leaves for New York for his inaugural participation as head of state and government in the United Nations National Assembly.
Molewa was North West premier and minister of social development before her current position.