Tributes to South African anti-Apartheid activist Denis Goldberg, who dies at 87

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Tributes to South African anti-Apartheid activist Denis Goldberg, who dies at 87

Goldberg's daughter lived on a kibbutz in Israel, and during his time in prison, formed a committee which campaigned to get him out

Screenshot from Channel 4 News's video with Denis Goldberg in 2014. (
Screenshot from Channel 4 News's video with Denis Goldberg in 2014. (

South African Jewish anti-Apartheid activist Denis Goldberg has died at his home near Cape Town, aged 87.

Mr Goldberg, who was from a family of Lithuanian Jews, was a prominent member of the now-ruling African National Congress and stood trial alongside Nelson Mandela.

He spent 22 years in prison for his involvement with the ANC’s fight against Apartheid, the racist system of oppression imposed by the white minority government.

When his fellow accused were sent to Robben Island, as a white prisoner Goldberg was separated from them and imprisoned in the capital, Pretoria.

He was an outspoken critic of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, as well as its engagement with the Apartheid government in South Africa – despite Israel helping in his negotiated release.

Goldberg’s daughter lived on a kibbutz in Israel, and during his time in prison, formed a committee which campaigned to get him out of prison.

After release in 1985, he stayed on Kibbutz Ma’ayanei HaYeshu for a short period with his family, according to Jerusalem Post, before living in exile in London, where he continued to take part in the anti-Apartheid movement.

Mr Goldberg‘s niece, Joy Noero, said the liberation stalwart died peacefully Wednesday after having lung cancer and diabetes.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies paid tribute on Facebook, saying that he was “a living reminder of a time when courageous, principled people across the colour line were prepared to put their lives on the line in the fight for freedom, justice and equality for all South Africans.

“For this he paid a heavy price, but gained for himself an honoured place in the history of our country that will endure forever. In his relationship with the Jewish community, the doors on both sides were always open.

“While there were areas of disagreement, he was forthright and engaging, always willing to speak and participate in initiatives aimed at furthering the cause of democracy and social justice in South Africa. It was a relationship that the SAJBD greatly valued. ”

Tributes poured in Thursday for Mr Goldberg, with many acknowledging the role he played in the fight against Apartheid.

“His commitment to ethical leadership was unflinching and even during his advanced age he formed part of the movement of veterans of the struggle calling for reassertion of moral center of society,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

The ANC also paid tribute to Goldberg, saying “his was a life well-lived in the struggle for freedom in SA.

“We will miss him.”

Anti-Apartheid activist Denis Goldberg dies at the age of 87

“I’ve never regretted a day of that life in struggle.”Anti-Apartheid activist Denis Goldberg, who spent 22 years in prison, has died at the age of 87.

פורסם על ידי ‏‎Channel 4 News‎‏ ב- יום חמישי, 30 באפריל 2020

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