Zuma said this Friday in Johannesburg while expressing his deepest condolences to the Nigerian government and the family of late Achebe.
According to a statement by the presidential spokesman, Mr Mac Maharaj, said Zuma expressed his deepest condolences “on the sad passing away of the distinguished Nigerian author’’.
“I have learnt with great sadness of the passing away of this colossus of African writing. Chinua Achebe was Nigeria’s and indeed Africa’s greatest literary export and a legend of African literature.
“It was in his famous novel `Things Fall Apart’ that many Africans saw themselves in literature and arts at the time when most of the writing was about Africans but not by Africans.
“Africa owes a debt of gratitude to the writer, Achebe.
“On behalf of the South African government and all her people, we wish to send our deepest condolences to the Achebe family, his home country, Nigeria and the whole literary community,” Zuma said.