News of Skweyiya's death leaked before family members informed

2018-04-11 15:05
Zola Skweyiya. (City Press)

Zola Skweyiya. (City Press)

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The family of former minister Zola Skweyiya issued a statement on Wednesday saying they had heard of his death through the media. 

"The family regrets the unfortunate leak of his death to the media before his family members and his organisation, the ANC were informed," said family spokesperson Khulu Mbatha.

He said while Sweyiya's wife, Thuthukile Skweyiya, was aware of her husband's death most family members who were with him on Tuesday night, including Mbatha himself, were not aware that he had died.

Mbatha said he received a call early on Wednesday morning to come to the hospital, but before he got there he heard about Skweyiya's death on the radio.

READ: ANC mourns loss of 'gentle giant of our struggle' Skweyiya

However, he told News24 that the family didn't blame the media for how the news came out. It's just a consequence of advanced technology, he said.

The well-known politician died in hospital at the age of 75 after a long illness on Wednesday.

"We are currently doing our best to contact the rest of the family members that were not officially informed," said Mbatha.

"We are aware that many ANC leaders and members, including the president of the ANC, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, had indicated that they will be paying [his family] a visit today. Unfortunately, his departure shocked all of us."

Skweyiya served as minister of public service and administration in former Nelson Mandela's Cabinet and as minister of social development in the Mbeki administration.

He then retired from Parliament in 2009 and took up the position of South Africa's high commissioner to London.

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Read more on:    anc  |  zola skweyiya  |  obituary  |  politics

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