Cape Town - Fidel Castro identified with and helped South Africa in the struggle against apartheid, President Jacob Zuma said in a message of condolences on Saturday after the Cuban liberation hero's death.''The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, has on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, conveyed a message of condolences to the government and the people of Cuba, following the passing on of former President Fidel Castro,'' a statement said.Zuma said Castro, who died aged 90 on Friday, led the Cuban revolution and dedicated his entire life not only to Cuban freedom and sovereignty, but also the freedom of other oppressed people around the world.''He inspired the Cuban people to join us in our own struggle against apartheid. The Cuban people, under the leadership and command ofPresident Castro, joined us in our struggle against apartheid," he said.The two countries formed a strong bond of friendship after South Africa's own liberation in 1994."As a way of paying homage to the memory of President Castro, the strong bonds of solidarity, cooperation and friendship that exist between South Africa and Cuba must be maintained and nurtured."Earlier, International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said Zuma had called Castro's brother Raul after the ''devastating'' news to personally offer South Africa's condolences.''We are standing with the people of Cuba at this difficult time,'' said Monyela.