"South Africa has lost a compassionate human being who was fearless and never relented in her convictions," Zuma said in a statement.
"Her legacy of courage and strong belief in human rights and freedom must inspire all of us to follow in her footsteps and make South Africa the beacon of freedom, democracy, hope and prosperity that she wanted it to be."
Ncube died on Friday.
During apartheid, Ncube was arrested and spent time in solitary confinement. She was charged with sedition and subversion. She was a leader of the United Democratic Front and an African National Congress national executive committee member.
In 1994, she was elected a Member of Parliament, was chairperson of the portfolio committee on arts and culture, and was an alternate member of the National Council of Provinces.
She was also mayor of the West Rand metropolitan council.
Zuma said Ncube distinguished herself in the struggle for women and children's rights in a remarkable manner. – Sapa