Zuma conveys condolences to DRC after opposition leader Tshisekedi's death

2017-02-04 13:32
Jacob Zuma (File: AFP)

Jacob Zuma (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his condolences to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the death of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

Tshisekedi died on Wednesday at the age of 84 in Belgium where he had been seeking medical treatment.

Reports said that he had long battled rumours of ill health because of complications from diabetes.

In a statement, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) said the South African government had learnt with "sadness" about his passing away.

"President Zuma recalled that Mr Étienne Tshisekedi, who died aged 84 and whose political career took off with the DRC’s independence in 1960, was a constant figure in the country’s public life for decades. 

"The President noted that the late Mr Étienne Tshisekedi will also be remembered for the key role he played in the political landscape of the Democratic Republic of the Congo," read part of the statement.

Long and illustrious political career 

Tshisekedi pushed for democratic reforms for decades in the vast central African nation throughout dictatorship and civil war.

His death came at a politically fragile moment for DRC, where he was heavily involved in the recent deal to get President Joseph Kabila to agree to step down by the end of this year after months of deadly protests. The parties signed a deal that has yet to be implemented.

The stalemate already has worried observers, and Tshisekedi's death likely will compound the difficulties.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Southern African Partnership for Democratic Change, Mmusi Maimane, said in a statement that Tshisekedi, during "his long and illustrious political career, stood up for democracy and justice in the face of dictatorship and the erosion of the will of the people, a cornerstone of democratic governance".

Maimane said the opposition leader displayed a sense of service to the people "by even standing up against those considered to be his close political allies, when they veered off the path of democracy and human rights".

It was not clear when Tshisekedi’s funeral would be held back home. 
Read more on:    mmusi maimane  |  jacob zuma  |  etienne tshisekedi  |  sa  |  drc  |  central africa  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.