The African National Congress says Martin McGuinness was a trusted ally of the South African people during apartheid and will be forever remembered as a unifier and a man of moral courage.
The party, which has governed South Africa since Nelson Mandela became its first black president after its first free election in 1994, paid tribute to “Comrade Martin McGuinness” following his death on Tuesday.
Edna Molewa, Chair of the ANC National Executive Committee Sub-committee on International Relations, said: “The ANC enjoys longstanding fraternal ties with Sinn Féin and is saddened at the news of the passing of a man who played a key role in the Irish Republican movement and the peace process.
“Sinn Féin was a trusted ally of the ANC during apartheid and its leaders stood steadfastly by our movement in support of our struggle for liberation.
“The ANC has always been humbled by the example set by Sinn Féin in transitioning from the trenches of warfare to the assumption of political leadership.
“As a former commander of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Sinn Féin political leader, Comrade McGuinness, played an instrumental role in bringing Sinn Féin, Britain, Ireland and the political parties of Northern Ireland to the negotiating table, resulting in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. The Good Friday agreement brought peace to the region ‘following decades of sectarian violence.’”
She said the late republican leader had left a huge legacy.
“Mr. McGuinness will forever be remembered as a man of moral courage, as a unifier, and as ‘a force for change’: it is testimony to this legacy that tributes have been paid to him from across the political spectrum.
“The ANC has sent its formal condolences to Sinn Féin.”