Following the demise of Eastern Cape community leader, Dr Simon Gqubule, President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral for the clergyman.
Gqubule, who aged 88 was an ordained Methodist Church reverend. According to an obituary by Rhodes University, he passed away in a Port Elizabeth hospital last Thursday and would be laid to rest on Thursday.
Dr Simon Gqubule’s Profile
During his days, he was known for his immense contribution to the liberation fight, religion and education. Even after his retirement, he spent most of time helping high school children with their academic work.
He was awarded the Order of Luthuli in Silver in April and was the first black student to receive a doctorate from Rhodes University in 1978.
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his deepest condolences on the passing of one of the country’s leading religious leaders, academics and liberation struggle stalwarts.
Speaking in a statement, the presidency said, “President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his deepest condolences on the passing of one of the country’s leading religious leaders, academics and liberation struggle stalwarts, the Reverend Dr Simon Gqubule.
Dr Gqubule was awarded the Order of Luthuli in Silver on 28 April 2016 by the President, in recognition of his excellent contribution to the liberation struggle and to the field of education and religion.
We are saddened by the passing of this dedicated freedom fighter, human rights campaigner and community leader. We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the family. May his soul rest in peace.”
Last year, President Jacob Zuma declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral for late struggle icon Reggie Vandeyar who died at the age of 84.
The presidency noted in a statement at that time that “Mr Vandeyar was an active delegate to the Congress of the People that established the Freedom Charter in 1955 in Kliptown, and was amongst the first three members of Indian origin to be arrested for MK [Umkhonto we Sizwe] activities in the then Transvaal.
They were sentenced to ten years each and were transferred to Robben Island.”
Prior to Vandeyar’s death, Zuma awarded him a National Order of Mendi for Bravery “for his remarkable bravery during the struggle against apartheid and for striving for a free and democratic South Africa”.
The president also instructed that the national flag fly at half-mast in Gauteng on the day of Vandeyar’s funeral.