President Zuma declares a Special Official Funeral for the late Reverend Stofile

AUGUST 17, 2016

President Jacob Zuma, who on Wednesday declared a Special Official Funeral for the former Eastern Cape Premier and Minister of Sport and Recreation, the late Reverend Arnold Makhenkesi Stofile, is also expected to deliver the eulogy at the funeral.

Reverend Stofile passed away on Monday at his home in Alice. He was serving as the Chancellor of the University of Fort Hare at the time of his death.

"The President has instructed that the National Flag fly at half-mast at every station in the country from tomorrow, 18 August 2016 until the evening of Thursday, 25 August 2016, the day of the burial of Reverend Stofile," the presidency said.

"The Inter-Ministerial Committee on State Funerals, chaired by the Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, will lead the planning and execution of the Special Official Funeral, working with the Eastern Cape Provincial Government."

Meanwhile, messages of condolences continue to pour in for the late struggle hero.

Rev Stofile was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Minister of Sport and Recreation of South Africa from 2004 to 2010.

Born on the 27 of December 1944, in the Winterberg District of Adelaide, Eastern Cape, he joined politics in 1963 as a member of the African Students' Association, an ANC front organisation.

He only came to the fore on the political front when he became the regional secretary and a member of the National Executive Committee of the United Democratic Front (UDF) between 1983 and 1986.

Stofile later obtained a Masters of Arts degree from Princeton University in United States of America (1983) and was later awarded a D.Phil (hc) by University of Port Elizabeth in 2000.

The former Premier is remembered for being key in the establishment and development of the UDF in the Border region.

In 1991, he was elected as a member of the NEC of the ANC, becoming its Treasurer General in 1994.

In 1994, he became a Member of Parliament as well as the chief whip of the ANC in Parliament. Stofile was the Chairperson of the (ANC) in the Eastern Cape since 1996.

He was also appointed as treasurer general of the ANC in 1995, a post he held until 1997, when he became Premier of the Eastern Cape until 2004.

In 2004, he entered cabinet again as the Minister of Sport and Recreation, a post which he held until 2010. 

Reverend Stofile was married to Nambita and he is survived by three children.

Image: www.fes.de