ANC stalwart Billy Modise died on Wednesday night after a long illness, the presidency said on Thursday.
Modise served as Chief of State Protocol from 1999 to 2006 and had previously served as South Africa’s high commissioner to Canada in 1995.
Modise was also a recipient of the National Order of Luthuli.
President Ramaphosa expressed his deepest condolences on Modise’s passing. “Our country and our people have suffered a great loss in the passing of Ambassador Billy Modise,” Ramaphosa said.
“He served his country selflessly and diligently. He was a distinguished gentleman and leader of our people who contributed exceptionally to the achievement of a South Africa free of racial oppression and to the building of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic country.
“We wish to convey our deepest words of condolence to his family, friends and relatives as well as members of the diplomatic corps. May his soul rest in peace.”
The governing party this week also mourned the death of Member of Parliament Sibusiso Radebe, who was shot dead in Roodepoort, and Limpopo Agriculture MEC Joyce Mashamba.