Media release

IMC on announcement of memorial and funeral arrangements for Ambassador Billy Modise

22 June 2018

22 Jun 2018

The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on State Funerals, led by Minister in the Presidency, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, met on Friday to discuss arrangements for the Memorial and Funeral Services for the late Ambassador Billy Modise, who passed on in the evening on Wednesday at the age of 87. President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a Special Official Funeral (category 1) for Ambassador Billy Modise. 

Ambassador Modise was a retired Chief of State Protocol and a recipient of the National Order of Luthuli.  He served the country with distinction in many capacities including his role as our Ambassador to Canada. 

He left his hometown of Bloemfontein to be enrolled at the University of Fort Hare in 1955 where he was inspired by the likes of the late Professor ZK Matthews and Govan Mbeki to join the African National Congress. He was a student activist who mobilized young people and Anti-Apartheid activists throughout the world, ultimately serving at the UN Habitat in 1975 and as an Assistant Director for the United Nations Institute for Namibia in Lusaka from 1976. 

While he was exiled to Sweden he used his activism not only to raise funds for the ANC, he was also instrumental in raising awareness about the struggle against apartheid in the Scandinavian countries. Upon his return from exile, he was deployed to the ANC Headquarters wherein, amongst other duties he was responsible for the Matla Trust, an institution set up for reintegration and economic transformation. 

Funeral Arrangements 

Ambassador Modise will be honored with a Special Official Funeral Service on Thursday, 28 June 2018, at Marks Park Sports Field, across the West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg. The ceremony will be open to the members of the public. 

The funeral will be preceded by the Official Memorial Service which will be held on Tuesday 26 June 2018, at 09h00 at the Oliver Tambo Building, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 460 Soutpansberg Road, 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. 

Ms Phumla Williams
GCIS Acting Director-General
Cell: 083 5010 139

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