The former KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance and ANC stalwart, Ina Cronjé, has died.
Cronjé died on Tuesday in Hilton after a short illness.
The family said she died surrounded by her family.
Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube described Cronjé as her leader and mentor.
“I am so sorry to hear about the passing of my leader and mentor Ina. May her beautiful soul rest in peace,” said Dube-Ncube.
Her husband, Pierre Cronjé, said she was committed to the Struggle for justice in the country.
Her daughter Larissa Cronjé and son Reuben Cronjé said she was an incredible leader.
“She was a woman of substance, who lived and died on her own terms,” said Larissa and Reuben.
The family said Cronje had worked as a lawyer in the 1980s and defended many ANC comrades at the time.
After 1994 she became the deputy chief whip of the ANC in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature before she was promoted to the position of chief whip.
Cronjé was later appointed MEC for Education in the province before she moved to the provincial treasury where she was MEC for Finance.
She led the provincial treasury out of the red into a healthy and stable financial situation, said the family. The province had a deficit of R2 billion and moved into a healthy financial position.
She returned to the law profession after she left the provincial legislature.
Cronjé was a member of the board of Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN).
After leaving politics, she started serving on the board of TIKZN, steering the state-owned entity to greater heights.