President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced that former ambassador and security chief Billy Modise has died after a long illness.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his deepest condolences on the sad passing of South Africa’s former Chief of State Protocol and recipient of the National Order of Luthuli, Ambassador Billy Modise, who passed away last night in hospital after a long illness.”
Modise, a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, was South Africa’s former high commissioner to Canada. He was seen as being responsible for establishing a strong anti-apartheid movement in the Nordic countries in the 1960s while studying in Sweden.
“Our country and our people have suffered a great loss in the passing of ambassador Billy Modise. 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 nonracial, nonsexist 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,” said President Ramaphosa.
Modise was 87.
He served as chief of protocol in the Mbeki administration until his retirement in 2006.