The African National Congress has remembered stalwart George Nene as a liberation hero who kept the SA flag flying high.
In a statement released by spokesperson Pule Mabe on Saturday evening, the party said it had "learned with sadness" the passing of Nene, who once served as ambassador to Switzerland.
"[He] did not only occupy death defying trenches of the liberation struggle, he was counted amongst those who held the flag of country flying high in the process of carving the role of South Africa on the international platforms."
Mabe said his contribution to the fight against apartheid would be treasured as the party continues its work "toward the transformation of the world of governance".
"The role that [he] played in the liberation of our country cannot be measured."
President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier passed condolences to the Nene family.
Nene was appointed as South Africa’s first high commissioner to Nigeria. Ramaphosa said that during his tenure as deputy director general for multilateral affairs, Nene “advanced South Africa’s interests in a broad range of international fora”.
“We have lost a special patriot and career diplomat who flew our flag with distinction and dedicated his period in exile to mobilising our region and continent to secure the liberation of our country,” Ramaphosa said.
Nene, who died on Friday, retired from the international relations and co-operation department two years ago.