ANC stalwart Zola Skweyiya File picture: Kendridge Mathabathe/ANA

Cape Town - African National Congress stalwart, Dr Zola Skweyiya, served his country with distinction and great fervour, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa in a statement passed on condolences to the family of Skweyiya, who passed away after a short illness on Wednesday morning.

"Our thoughts, as colleagues and comrades, go out to the family and friends of Dr Skweyiya who served our country with great passion and distinction during his time in Cabinet and the diplomatic service," said Ramaphosa.

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"Dr Skweyiya’s endearing engagement and his contribution to our society - especially his role as the first Minister to lead the Public Service in a democratic South Africa - will be greatly missed and honoured."

Ramaphosa said details of a memorial for Skweyiya would be made available at a later stage.

Skweyiya was democratic South Africa's first Public Service and Administration minister. He later served as social development minister before retiring in 2009. He then served as the country's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

African News Agency/ANA