Zuma declares special funeral for Eastern Cape teacher, clergyman

2016-05-31 15:56

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Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral for Eastern Cape community leader Dr Simon Gqubule.

Gqubule, 88, an ordained Methodist Church reverend, died in a Port Elizabeth hospital last Thursday, according to an obituary by Rhodes University.

He would be buried on Thursday. The Eastern Cape government would announce details later.

Gqubule, who was awarded the Order of Luthuli in Silver in April, was the first black student to receive a doctorate from Rhodes University in 1978.

The 88-year-old Gqubule, who lived in Uitenhage, was honoured for his contribution to the liberation struggle, education and religion.

The former English and Theology teacher spent most of his retirement years helping high school children get better grades.

He established the Ilitha Lemfundo initiative, where he offered Saturday classes to grade 10, 11 and 12 pupils.

"President Zuma has once again extended his deepest condolences to the Gqubule family, relatives and friends on this sad loss," the Presidency said in a statement.

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