A picture of Talk 702 host Xolani Gwala at his memorial. File photo: Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA).

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral Category 2 for journalist and popular talk show host Xolani Gwala, the Presidency said on Friday night.

Ramaphosa has also issued an instruction that the National Flag fly at half-mast in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday evening ahead of the Talk 702 host's funeral on Saturday.

Gwala, 44, died last week after battling colon cancer for two years. In September 2017, Gwala confirmed that he had been diagnosed with the disease during an interview on the radio station.

Ramaphosa in a statement on Friday night extended his heartfelt condolences to Gwala’s family, friends and colleagues in the media fraternity in South Africa and abroad.

“We have lost a youthful veteran in an important sector in our country. As a professional who qualified in the mid-1990s, Xolani Gwala carried with him the values of our transition to democracy – the values of listening and being open to views that conflict with or offend your own, and a focus on solutions.”

Tomorrow’s special provincial official funeral will entail ceremonial elements that will be provided by the South African Police Service.

Gwala will be laid to rest in Impendle in KwaZulu-Natal.

IOL