Ramaphosa Declares Special Official Funeral For Billy Modise

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a Special Official Funeral for Ambassador Billy Modise who died on Wednesday at the age of 87.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on State Funerals, led by Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, met on Friday to discuss the arrangements for the memorial and funeral service.

The funeral service will be held at Marks Park Sports Field, across the West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg on Thursday. The ceremony will be open to the members of the public.

The official memorial service will precede the funeral service and will be held on Tuesday at the Oliver Tambo Building, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) in Pretoria.

Mourners can attend the evening prayer services, which will be held at the Modise family residence on Saturday, Sunday and Monday between 18h00 and 19h00.

Condolence books have been placed at the Modise family residence, Union Buildings and DIRCO offices as well as diplomatic missions abroad where members of the public can express their messages of support to the family.

Modise was a retired Chief of State Protocol and a recipient of the National Order of Luthuli. He has served as ambassador to Sweden and later Canada.

In 1955, he left his hometown of Bloemfontein in the Free State to enroll at the University of Fort Hare where he was encouraged to join the African National Congress (ANC) by President Thabo Mbeki and Professor ZK Matthews.

He was a student activist who mobilised young people and anti-apartheid activists throughout the world.

When he was exiled to Sweden he raised funds for the ANC and was instrumental in raising awareness about the struggle against apartheid.


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