Johannesburg: Just days before the African National Congress (ANC) lay to rest Struggle Stalwarts Winnie Madikizela Mandela; it has lost another veteran Zola Skweyiya who died Wednesday morning in Pretoria aged 75.
Zola Skweyiya died on Wednesday morning in Kloof Hospital in Pretoria, this was confirmed by Mpho Mosimane who was the spokesperson for the group of 101 stalwarts and apartheid activists who requested Jacob Zuma to step down last year.
Zola Sidney Themba Skweyiya was born 14 April 1942 in Simon’s Town, Western Cape, and later joined the liberation movement the ANC and after his return from exile in 1990. He served in various governments positions and also becoming a minister Public Services and Administration from 1994 to 1999 under former president Nelson Mandela.
He matriculated in 1960 at Lovedale School in Alice, he was involved in school boycotts against Bantu education and joined the Anc in 1956. He left the country in 1963 to Tanzania where he received military training of Umkhonto we Sizwe and latter sent to Germany to continue his studies in Law where he obtained LLD from the University of Leipzig.
Skweyiya who was a lawyer by profession also served on the board of trustees of the National Commission for the Rights of Children and became president of UNESCO’s management of Social Transformation.
After 15 years in the cabinet and parliament, he announced retirement on the 6th May 2009 immediately after general elections.
He was later appointed by former President Jacob Zuma as the South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in September 2009.