President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a special provincial funeral in honour of the late former Robben Islander and Western Cape veteran Vincent Diba. File picture: ANA

Port Elizabeth - President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a special provincial funeral in honour of the late former Robben Islander and Western Cape veteran Vincent Diba, who died at the age of 59, the Government Communication and Information System said in a statement on Friday. 

President Ramaphosa has declared a special provincial funeral (Category 2), which entails ceremonial elements provided by the South African Police Service. 

The funeral service will take place at Zolani Centre in Nyanga East at 9am on Saturday. 

Vuyisile Vincent Diba was born on 15 September 1959 in the Mau-Mau location of Nyanga East; He was the fifth child of the late Jackie Mpunzima Diba and Lienna Nongenile Diba. 

"Diba is a past provincial vice-chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) and was a member of the first Western Cape legislature of the democratic dispensation.

"Diba, who lived in NY 5 in Gugulethu with his family, was steeped in liberation politics and was imprisoned on Robben Island for eight years as part of an 11-year sentence," the statement said. 

He headed the ANC Western Cape policy committee, served on the organisation’s national peace and stability sub-committee, and undertook also did an officer’s training course in India and Denmark in preparation for the integration of the statutory and non-statutory forces in South Africa. 

Diba completed a degree during his incarceration on Robben Island in 1986. In 2004 he graduated from the University of South Africa as a social worker.

Diba also was passionate about rugby and became active in the ex-political prisoners association and Makana ferries business before being employed at the Robben Island Museum where he served as a school and public programme officer before he retired due to ill-health in December 2017. 

African News Agency (ANA)