This file image shows former Minister of Sport Makhenkesi Stofile, in Egypt when he joined President Jacob Zuma on a state visit to Egypt. The ANC said in a statement on Monday 15 August 2016 that Stofile passed away after an illness.
JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) stalwart Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile passed away on Monday.
In a statement released by the ANC said it has learnt with great sadness of the passing of Stofile.
The organisation said it owes an indelible debt of gratitude to Stofile for his sterling role in politics and sports in both the liberation movement and South Africa at large.
Stofile joined the ANC in 1958.
According to the statement “Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile, was born on 27 December 1944, and joined politics in 1963 as a member of the African Students’ Association.
"He was elected the regional secretary and National Executive Member of the United Democratic Front between 1983 and 1986; driving the charge for the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the Border region."
Stofile was arrested in 1986 and served an 11-year prison term for terrorism under the then Ciskei Internal Security Act in 1986.
He was an ANC Chief Whip following the democratic elections in 1994.
He served as the Provincial Chairperson of the ANC in the Eastern Cape in 1996, was appointed as Premier of the Eastern Cape in 1997. A position he held until his deployment as Minister of Sport and Recreation between 2004 and 2010.
He was also a minister of the Presbyterian Church of South Africa since 1975.
He held a number of presidential roles for sporting bodies.
Stofile was also President of the South Eastern Districts Rugby Union from 1975-1982 and also a member of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee Board of Directors.
At the time of his passing, he had returned from a diplomatic posting as South Africa’s Ambassador to Germany.
The statement ended thus "indeed the great Baobab tree has fallen in our 104 year old liberation movement. The African National Congress sends its deepest condolences to Cde Stofile’s family. May they find solace in the knowledge of the immeasurable contribution Bra Stof made to the liberation of South Africa and our national project of socio-economic transformation. We share with them their profound grief and sense of loss."