President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent condolences to the loved ones of world-renowned poet and author Don Mattera.

The 86-year-old legend passed away on Monday.

Mattera was awarded as an esteemed member of the Order of the Baobab in Gold in 2006 for his excellent contribution to literature, achievement in the field of journalism and striving for democracy and justice in South Africa.

In a statement released a short while ago, Ramaphosa said as we observed International Nelson Mandela Day, Materra as a patriot who in the spirit of this commemorative day, did what he could with what he had to ensure that South Africa’s democracy was realised.

“As a nation, we are saddened by the loss of Don Mattera’s eloquent, rousing and revolutionary voice for justice. May his soul rest in peace as, in his own prose, he sleeps the sleep of freedom.”

The Don Mattera Legacy Foundation said it would remember the iconic poet and author for being a humanitarian who strived to ensure that South African children had better lives.

Chair of the foundation Jennie Jephta said Mattera was a compassionate man who cared deeply about children.

“His focus really is on the child and the future of the child in this country.”

He is being buried on Monday night according to Muslim rites.